One of the most popular songs by John Mayer and my personal favorite green song. It highlights the need for change from a younger generation. Sets us thinking about how any change is possible unless our children learn to love nature and all things natural.
Children left to their nature instincts love nature
Most children left to their natural instincts care about nature in the most purest way and would not harm it. Rain makes them jump with joy. The rainbow is the topic of discussion in my house for days. A year back on our monsoon break to Panshet near Pune we spotted a stray puppy who seemed to have lost it’s mother. It’s memory still makes Arpita cry. Nature is the easiest and cheapest way to teach our kids empathy, love, care and kindness. Hence it is supremely paradoxical that even though our kids find such unadulterated happiness in nature we try to substitute this with fancy electronic gadgets, drag them to malls to play in artificial environments or put them in front of the idiot box. It is all the more absurd because we ourselves do not enjoy in such artificial environment. At least I don’t. None of my close friends does. This is good enough benchmark for me to realize the importance of connecting my child and remain connected with nature.
The reasons why we push our kids away from nature might be various.
We might not be managing our own time properly. I have noticed on the days that I have slacked in the mornings and I do not have enough time to complete my essential chores for the day, I have given my daughter my phone to play or allowed her to watch the television so that I may get some undisturbed time to complete my work.
Grey matter is almost everything
Often we are in awe of that kid who can operate the laptop, mobile etc. with ease. Stories abound how certain apps have helped children improve their grey matter and hence excel academically. As parents we want to give them that edge over others. We do not want them to lose out in anything. We want them to be successful. So we slip the apps loaded tablets into their hands so that they might score a better grade. In the process, since they remained disconnected from nature during their formative years they will have no genuine love for the environment. By the time they are adults they will be part of the problems associated with the nature rather than being ambassadors for solution. Grey matter might be almost everything but lessons learnt from nature and the world around us is everything and more.
We are dwelling in this make belief surreal world where advertisements goad us into thinking that denying our child the latest play station or tablet is criminal as a parent. We indulge to make them happy. A quick reality check tells us otherwise. A throw back on our childhood days will make us realize that lasting happy thoughts are those associated with nature.
Neighbours envy owners pride syndrome
Why is it a matter of pride if we own a fancy television set or mobile phone or any other gadget for that matter? After all it is an instrument disconnecting us and our children from the natural world around. More bizzare is the fact that we want people to be envious. Even more weird is that many actually are.
Unhappy state of mind
When we as parents are unhappy, we lose our focus in our day to day activities. We spend more time with our selves analyzing and brooding than with our child. It is in this unhappy state of mind we shove our child away from nature. When a child is close to nature the kid wants to share her thoughts and emotions with her parent. The parent needs to be in a happy state of mind in order to be able to partake in the kids’ happiness.
Whatever be the reasons and irrespective of where each of us stand on the issue of letting our child use technology, I hope that we are all united in the understanding that exposing our child to nature is more beautiful and confers a healthy lifestyle than being cooped up indoors.