Seeing your child coming home all dirty/muddy is not a sight most mothers would entertain with a smile, considering the amount of effort it would take to clean them up again. However, mothers also know this is an essential part of growing up, as they themselves have gone through the same routine when they were young. And the dirt is even more acceptable when it happens for a good cause, and one such cause is gardening.
Firstly, gardening is a fun activity. As children go through their developmental stages, certain activities can instil good values in them. Home gardening requires patience, hard work, and concentration, which contribute to the moral upbringing of a child. Furthermore, it will improve your child's knowledge about planting, floriculture, and nature.
Secondly, gardening creates scope for good family bonding. Often in this competitive era, children are busy with school, games, tuitions, and friends. This busy lifestyle may detach one from family, sparing hardly any time for family bonding. In this case, gardening with your child will create opportunities for some memorable and enjoyable family time.
Children nowadays are so consumed by technology that they hardly find anything else entertaining. Slowly, and unknowingly, this dependence on technology is causing a separation from nature, especially for city dwellers. House gardening is a way to connect with nature daily, and slowly repatriate from the addiction of technology.
Gardening is not only a fun activity for children, but it posits several advantages too. Gardening is one such ubiquitous activity that involves all the sensory organs. Seeing the buds grow, touching the soil, smelling the flowers when they bloom, hearing the scraping of the shovel, tasting the fruits, and so much more! It is an enjoyable chore that will enhance your child's motor development.
Finally, gardening can be a way to get food into the stomachs of picky little eaters. If your child swats away the plate of vegetables, wait till you see the excitement in their eyes after growing their own carrot. Your child will likely be encouraged to consume it, and luckily, may learn a thing or two about avoiding food wastage.
Let us not overshadow all these opportunities of developing useful habits, good relations, healthy eating, and a better lifestyle just for the fear of dirt. Dirt can be removed easily by scrubbing or washing, but these life lessons will remain planted forever.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed