5 Life lessons kids can learn from gardening

Here’s a take on how gardening can help your kids learn empathy, compassion, sharing and more.
5 Life lessons kids can learn from gardening5 Life lessons kids can learn from gardening
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I have been a weekend farmer for over 5 years now! One thing I can vouch for is that “Nature” is the best school ever! If you want to sow the seeds of empathy, compassion, sharing and patience in your kids just instil a love for nature in them and see them grow as responsible and grateful individuals!

During one of the trips to my farm with a few of my colleagues, what really touched me was how their little kids connected with nature! With the initial running around done, they took to planting seeds and saplings like true farmers. Digging small pits, putting the seeds and carefully covering the patch whilst talking to the little seeds to quickly grow up, the innocence, the TLC, the plant talk was something not to be missed and this was probably the first time they were doing it! The natural instinct of a kid to play in the open, connect with nature and dirty their hands in the mud should be encouraged. I guess, this ground connection can help kids to become grounded and mentally strong as they grow up in this digital world!

Here are five life lessons kids can learn from a home vegetable garden:

1. Growing food is hard work (and a lot of it!) 

A lot of young kids assume food comes from air-conditioned malls! When children themselves plant seeds in a pot or a garden, see them grow up as plants or vines and witness the flowers maturing into vegetables and fruits, they realise what it really takes. Their understanding of the hard work a farmer does on a large scale and the complexity of food's journey from a farm to the fork becomes better. These kids will be more empathetic and seldom waste food! 

2. Patience is necessary for success

Low attention spans and the need for immediate gratification are some of the behaviours demonstrated by many kids. Food takes time to grow. Setting up a good garden with care and patience is a good analogy for kids to experience the feeling of achievement that comes with working towards the end goal with constant optimism. Nature can instil patience in a kid.

3. Interdependency is good, sharing is caring

A good garden or a farm is a perfect example of thriving interdependencies. A classic example being the pollen carrying bees that get nectar in return from the flowering plants. It is such a symbiotic relationship. Just like a housing complex with a lot of kids from diverse backgrounds playing with and seeking help from each other.

4. Nurturing is a must in any relation

Our plants and vegetables need proper sunlight and water. I laughed when someone advised me to speak to my plants and honestly, I did not have the last laugh! I found that the more I cared and nurtured them, the higher was the yield.  TLC works. Similarly, constructive communication with parents, friends, and siblings help kids grow up as good human beings!

5. Revel in the little joys of life 

A 100 per cent successful garden is a sort of a misnomer. The vagaries of nature are unpredictable. Too many rains, droughts, pest attacks, weeds all have an impact on the yield in a garden or farm. Just like a garden, our life is filled with surprises, adversities, and sometimes things may not go the way we expect. In fact, none of our best moments are planned. Best is to find happiness in little things and I guess dirtying our hands and growing plants is just one of them.

For parents, gardening and planting seeds with your kids are the best togetherness. While they learn life lessons, you learn a lot about them. Catch them young, sow the seeds of empathy, compassion, love and sharing in their minds. And for this, you don't need special classes! There is a bounty of life lessons to learn with just a few small pots on your balcony!

About the author:

Sujit Patil is a communications professional and a weekend farmer by passion. He shares his life lessons from the farm on @instasujit.

Also Read|Gardening in Monsoon: 10 Tips to take care of your plants to save them from the rain

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Anonymous 1 month ago

Yes, a good garden is a perfect book for our life

Anonymous 1 month ago

Beautiful communication by the author for the kids as well for the parents it is really essential to teach kids to hoe to find happiness in every little things we do and tobe grateful for the things we have one can never forget the nature for living a happy life

Anonymous 1 month ago

Yes this is so good

Anonymous 1 month ago

Will try that with kid

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