Reconnect With Nature

Our lives are centered on our children, and we would do anything to make them happy. Can we give them what they need to find true happiness?

Simon Paul Harrison, a former elementary school teacher and the founder of Wild Earth’s Children, promotes the benefits of helping kids connect with nature. Harrison believes that nature is our children's greatest teacher — and the only way to help our kids find true happiness.

In his book, The Truly Alive Child, Harrison helps parents bring out “a love of learning and natural creativity in our children.“

Get back to nature

You don’t have to do a ton of research to get started. “Reconnecting with nature has so very little to do with information,” promises Harrison. “[Love and passion for nature] are far more powerful than information can ever be because they lead to hands-on experiences.”

Smell

Smelling the fragrance of the air after a storm is far more powerful than someone telling us about it.

Watch

Watching a hawk soar effortlessly beneath a golden sun leads to far more connection than reading about it in a book.

Feel

Feeling the very life force of a river as it winds its way through the mountains leads to far more love for life than watching it on a screen.

Creative outdoor activities for your family >>

Model living in the present

"When we show our children that peace and joy are only experienced in the here and now, they discover they don’t need to chase after these."

As parents, we do our best to prepare our children to become happy, successful adults. In doing so, we may miss the beauty of the moment. “When we show our children that peace and joy are only experienced in the here and now, they discover they don’t need to chase after these,” explains Harrison. “This alone is life-changing and plants the seeds for lasting happiness.”

7 Kid-friendly outdoor activities >>

Teach that we are all one

Harrison promotes the idea that all living things are connected, enabling children to “develop a deep respect for all life and leading to compassionate and peaceful relationships.” What greater lesson for our children could we ever ask for?

Brave the great outdoors with your family >>

Reconnect with nature

Mother Nature doesn’t need a teaching certification to provide a most wonderful education for your children. “Nature is a most remarkable teacher,” says Harrison. “It is here children find the quietness and stillness that inspires them to be creative and innovative.”

9 Earth Day traditions your kids will love >>

Cultivate passion

When children ask questions about nature, "we should let them see in our eyes, our voice and our soul that the secrets of nature are worth working hard for and that they bring to every aspect of our being to life,” says Harrison. “We want children to understand, by looking at our example, how much joy it can bring to them.”

Plant a seed of passion for nature and life. “Children become highly skilled and adept at that which they are passionate about,” explains Harrison. “We can nourish this in children by embracing the idea that passion creates passion."

3 Educational outdoor activities >>

More ways to reconnect with nature

6 Outdoor activities for children
How to encourage outdoor play
How to raise a tree hugger

Tags:

Recommended for you

Comments

Comments on "Raise a truly happy child"

Lynne September 05, 2012 | 7:32 PM

I've long been a believer in this. There is no better way to spend quality time with your little ones than outdoors... exploring our beautiful world.

Lauren September 04, 2012 | 2:09 PM

This is a great article. I really think living in the present is the best way to raise happy kids. Also it's important to remember that dishes and laundry can wait...enjoy each and every moment you have with your children.

+ Add Comment


(required - not published)