Last week we started talking about how our grandparents were able to pull off the impossible. They taught our parents and helped us learn respect for people and the things around us.
The times are changing and now organic gardening, cooking, saving, repairing, reusing, recycling, conserving, and caring for our things and our surroundings is becoming increasingly necessary (and popular) for our environment and our finances.
We can’t go back to the old days, but there are some things we can do to help our children appreciate and respect the people and things around them. Here are a few ideas in no specific order:
- Try taking on a few projects with your children instead of paying to have them done for you. Tear apart and fix something together. Get dirty. It’s fun!
- Plant a vegetable garden together. Cook together!
- Consider what some of the things you commonly throw away can be reused for. Brainstorm together. Reuse a few things.
- Make family time a priority even if it’s difficult. Keep time set aside regularly. Eat meals together.
- If you can personally live with it, allow your children the privilege of owning and caring for a pet.
- Be a good listener. When a person is truly heard, it tells the person who is talking that they are important.
- Teach your children to value hard work. If they have a good work ethic they will always be able to take care of themselves.
- Grandparents have so much to share! Make sure to visit your grandparents and parents (their grandparents) often. They are learning from you when you do this. When your children grow up you are going to want them to visit you, right? Encourage outings with grandparents so your children can develop strong relationships and learn from them.
- Consider making birthday and Christmas gifts from things you already have around the house instead of buying them. Make craft time a family time.
- Try catching your dinner and preparing the meal together!
- Hike and walk together and enjoy this beautiful country. It’s hard for our children to respect and appreciate what they haven’t seen or interacted with.
- Explain why caring for other people is important. Visit the elderly together. Encourage them to engage in community service.
- Also, as important, is to encourage them to volunteer in a state or National park and take the ranger classes. Our public lands and natural resources cannot be easily replaced once they are damaged.
- Mirror the importance of taking good care of your things and our public resources by doing it yourself and inviting your children to help.
I love the signs that we see in our National Parks and National Forests. “If You Pack It, Then You Pack It Out. Take Nothing but Pictures, Leave Nothing but Footprints.”
Our parents put in what they got out of everything: the things they owned, the land, and most importantly their relationships. Here’s the take away: Give your children yourself and your time. Do things with them and listen to them. Your children will learn from you – you are their window into understanding what’s important. Waste not, want not.
Put that fishing outing on your calendar and repeat it often. Yes, it is more work if you use live bait but worth it. Have fun and keep your bait wet!