The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to its knees, and as of today, the death toll around the world has already passed the 1 million mark. Economies and families around the world have seen disruption of life and activity.
However, in this state of disdain and sorrow, seldom people realize that kids around the world are also going through some of the worst and toughest period in their lives. With no school and virtually no outdoor entertainment, they have been confined as prisoners in their own homes.
Naturally, this has led to a lot of young kids feel mental stress. According to the recent findings of The Childhood Trust in London, children are at a huge risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder due to the pandemic. The Trust, which works with over 200 charities, also spoke with over 2000 children with existing mental health problems. Around 83% of them reported that the coronavirus outbreak has made their mental health much worse.
In light of this information, let's take a quick look at how parents can use Nature Writing to great effect and help reduce mental stress in kids:
Connecting With Nature
Nature writing is deeply rooted in the aspect of observing nature, and as such, it can help kids raised in urban settlement to educate and find their connection with nature. This can help you to deviate their attention and divert their focus elsewhere.
In many instances, psychologists also use this trick to change the way people feel, especially in situations where negative emotions and feelings are building up. The person is found to be fixated on problems and troubles. There are numerous works out there that you can read to your children, and as a parent, you can write down your own narratives and even poems to define various aspects of nature.
You can center your discussion on plentiful topics, including flower types, bird species, animals, plants, vegetables, fruits, and types of trees. Plus, there is Ecofiction where there are so many interesting and fictional stories about animals in a garden interacting with each other. They, too, can make your kids feel better and improve their moods.
Higher Sense Of Responsibility
As human beings, there is no doubt we have landed ourselves at the top of the food chain, however like the saying goes, "with great power comes great responsibility" we must teach our kids to be accountable for their actions.
Many people around the world are trying their level best to reduce their carbon footprint, and this pandemic is primetime to teach our kids about sustainable living and ethical production. Greenhouse gases and emissions have fueled global warming and climate change across the world, whether we choose to accept or deny it.
With the help of nature writing, you as parents can teach them the importance of nature, how our irresponsible actions harm the environment, and what can be done to protect the planet and its ecosystem. This will provide them with a higher sense of responsibility and give them a purpose and goal in life to chase after.
A Muse For Moral Learning
Moral lessons are also plentiful in nature, where we can study the relation between a parasite and the host relationships between where creatures found in both the plant and animal kingdom. This can include mushrooms, which are a type of fungus, and woodlice. Similarly, you can also teach children about how living organisms cooperate with each other.
This is known as symbiotic living, and the example of the clownfish and sea anemone can also be seen in the popular Disney movie Finding Nemo. A symbiotic relationship is where two organisms live together and benefit one another.
The moral lesson here would be how humans, too, can live in a mutually beneficial environment and help each other out, especially during times need and urgencies.
Overcoming Struggles And Hardships
Life is tough, and there is no doubt that suffering is a definite part of it. From the event of our birth to the point when the curtain falls, we do feel pain as humans. However, we face various troubles that we must overcome throughout our lives to become someone or achieve something. You can share a seedling event on how it germinated from the soil and erupts into a tiny stem through nature writing.
Then over the years, as it battles the elements, it grows firm and strong, eventually becoming a gigantic tree. These examples and countless more like the Salmon's lifecycle that races across the current to reach its birthing place, all show that each and every one of us are fighting our own battles.
This can also help you teach perseverance in kids and why it is important to never give up on themselves and others around them.
Fascination Leads To Engagement
If you want to make a stressful person feel better, then you must engage them in a way that takes their focus off of gloomy thoughts. There are amazing books being written now and also in the past that can truly fascinate and educate audiences at the same time.
Some of the best works that you can introduce to your children include:
- H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
- Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell
- The Orkney Book of Birds by Time Dean and Tracy Hall
- Ways to Go Beyond and Why They Work: Seven Spiritual Practices for a Scientific Age by Rupert Sheldrake
Traveling To New Environments
The best thing about literature is that it can help you evade your current situation and allow you to experience a journey of mind and soul to new and previously undiscovered places. Nature writing can be both informative and entertaining at the same time.
As a parent, it is your task to make children experience something new and keep their excitement levels high. Entice them with various amazing facts, and this will help them wonder in awe as to how amazing nature itself is, plus truth is always stranger than fiction.
Here are some amazing facts that you can study further with your kids through works produces by other nature writing and studies:
- Pistol Shrimps and their incredible ability to fire water bullets.
- Eagles and Falcons, with their amazing eyesight that can help them zone into prey that is 2 miles away.
- The incredible strength of ants and how they can lift more than their own weight and size.
- The Coast Redwood trees that can grow as high as 115 meters, and the Giant Sequoia that can have a trunk volume of over 1,487 cubic meters.
Just make sure that when you involve children in deep nature-related research, they have comfortable seats to keep them from feeling uncomfortable.
Instilling Happy Thoughts
Have you heard about the South African marula fruit? If not, go watch the 1974 documentary called Animals Are Beautiful People, and the animal antics will surely make you glee from ear to ear. The marula fruit is also used to make a popular South African cream liqueur known as Amarula, which has a fruity caramel flavor.
The fruit itself is able to intoxicate animals whenever they eat the fruit, and the jungle around the tree becomes a nature's booze party. There are various other examples in nature that you can also find yourself where the divine comedy comes into play and is sure to instill happy thoughts into anyone who discovers them.
Pathway Leading To Harmony
Nature itself rests on incredible balance and harmony. The more you study works previously produced by nature writing, the more captivating it gets. However, a salient lesson in all this mesmerizing beauty of nature is how to retain balance and let nature take its course.
In the end, nature, even in its most devastating forms, including typhoons and hurricanes, still finds a way to recuperate life and maintain balance. This can be an important lesson that we can teach our kids and show them how to respect nature and not go against their will. Mankind has already created heap loads of troubles, and global warming is one of the curses which we have given to our future generations.
Educating the young about natural harmony is, therefore, extremely important. Where our leaders have failed, hopefully, in the future, the next generation would be able to make amends and take strides to save the planet.
Apart from creating a greater sense of connection with all living things, nature writing is also quite an engaging process that can help young ones improve their vocabulary and language skills. In fact, writing itself is often associated as a therapeutic activity that can help reduce stress levels.
As parents, you can encourage your young ones to explore nature and find amazements in the work of godly creation all around us. This will allow them to be entertained and increase their pool of knowledge as well as find a way to deal with stress issues created by the current pandemic.