I think it’s very important for their perspective. Children who are never exposed to the natural world tend not to appreciate it as adults, this will reflect on there attitudes towards environmental protection and sustainability. Also, if the only world they are exposed to is that of modern society, then social constructs like money and egotism become the only reality that child knows. We must also emphasize that a solid education can do a lot to open one’s mind; but for even the most accomplished scholar, how much does he/she really know of the world if he/she has never seen it in its untouched form.
I agree with what aaron10 mentioned. It’s important to teach children about the environment, as well as expose them to it at an early age. Children can create happy memories with nature, and this helps them to respect and appreciate it a lot more. Also, children’s television shows are doing a great job trying to teach them about the environment and why it’s important to protect it.
Absolutely. Children need to have lots of different experiences as they are growing up so they can learn to form their own opinions about what they like and dislike, what’s good and bad and so they can determine where their interests lie. If children don’t already live in an area where nature is predominant, bringing them to nature filled areas (parks, beaches, fields, forests, farms, deserts, etc.) is essential to their development and helps to expand their knowledge of the world.
I think it depends entirely on how you go about it. If you attempt to force a child outdoors, they will in my experience come to resent the thing you’re forcing them to do. If you want to take them camping, don’t cut them off from all their technology (especially if you need to keep your cellphone or texting device on yourself!). For camping, you could treat it as a family outing. Learn about where you’re taking them so if they take interest in something, you can tell them about it!
Most kids will go through a “gross, cool!” phase or a phase where they latch onto a certain animal. Disney movies can be great for things like this. If they really like Bambi, Pocahontas, or even The Little Mermaid you can use this as a launching point. There are some great classic environmental cartoons – Serendepity is a beautiful choice for getting kids involved in conservation issues! The Lorax is getting a new movie soon, so that could be used as well.
Yes, it’s quite an important thing, but the key is to not force it. Try and grow from their interests, and make sure not to demonize what they are already interested in. Don’t take their computer away cause its not environmentally friendly or force them outside cause they’re online all day. Listen to what they talk about, there is usually some kind of hook you can use. Kids want to have fun!
I think that it is very important to put children in nature. However, unlike pierettewinter, I believe that children will benefit from it even if they are forced to go camping and give up their cell-phones for a week. I remember when I was a lot younger and my parents forced me to do chores, and now I actually enjoy doing chores. It helps me relax and think. In many ways, I think that modern parents are too lenient with their children. Although I do not beleive in corporal punishment, I do think that it is important to teach children a wide variety of lessons even when they do not want to learn. Just make sure you do it in a loving way and explain to them that you have their best interests at heart. They will understand when they are older.
Yes definitely! I think that children need to learn that nature is not threatening so that they develop a healthy environmentalist perspective later in life. Spending time in nature is also physically healthy and leads to children that are more likely to participate in active hobbies.
Absolutely. Many of my best childhood memories were from camping in Northern Michigan and traveling across the United States on family road trips. More recently, I traveled throughout Ecuador. Throughout my life, I’ve explored rainforests, cloud forests, coastal tidal pools, sea cliffs, beaches, redwood forests, conifer forests, badlands, mountain ranges, deserts, plains, hot springs, glaciers, volcanos, and more. Witnessing such incredible variation and majesty of the Earth has shaped my current personal beliefs and interests. I think all children – and people of all age- should experience nature and gain an appreciation for the planet.
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