Earth Day can be about much more than picking up trash or making recycled crafts. You can use it as a chance to teach valuable life lessons to your children.
Set aside time to do something different. Have fun together. And remember the incredible life lessons that Earth Day and living green will teach your children:
Celebrating Earth Day lends itself to a posture of gratitude. If you do only one thing on Earth Day, go outside! Take a hike, have a picnic, watch a sunrise or sunset, and absorb the beauty that surrounds you. Encourage your children to see the brilliant colors, feel the design on a tree’s bark, squish mud between their fingers, listen to birds serenading them, and smell the air.
The secret to gratitude is opening your eyes to the many small and large gifts that are placed in your path. There will be days or whole seasons in life where it is difficult to see any beauty, goodness, or fairness. When our children are encouraged to be observant and respectful of the beauty in nature, they will be able to find things to be grateful for, even during the darkest days to come. When you celebrate Earth Day, you are expressing gratitude for all the beauty in our world and in life.
Empathy & Courage
Parents want to raise children who have the empathy and courage to stand up for injustice and speak for the vulnerable. In an age where bullying extends from the playground to the relentless presence of the Internet, children have infinite opportunities to stand up for others.
Earth Day is a day to speak for the vulnerable plants and animals that are endangered because of mankind’s behavior. Children will find their voice when they speak out to bring awareness to the plight of polar bears in the arctic or trees in the rainforest. Through this practice, they will gain confidence for when it’s time to stand up for a classmate or fight a societal injustice later in life.
A most fortunate challenge in our society is maintaining balance in the face of excess. Compared with most of the world, we are extravagantly wealthy and have more than what we need. Contrary to that, living green sometimes means choosing not to do or have something, even if you can. It means sacrificing convenience or your desires for a greater good. It means making decisions with the amount of consumption, waste, and excess in mind. Living green, with simplicity and discipline, shows children moderation and balance in life.
Earth Day is a day to recognize and accept personal responsibility for this enormous, diverse planet. Part of this responsibility is understanding that your actions have a ripple effect across the globe and into the future. When parents show concern for animals that do not live in your backyard, care about the well-being of people you have not met, or worry about future generations, children learn that they exist in a much larger world than what they experience daily in their lives.
There is an entire planet teeming with life—different species of plants and animals, and people whom they will never meet. Yet, all those species and people are affected by our choices, and we are affected by theirs. Celebrating Earth Day opens a child’s mind and perspective to see her connection to other living beings around the world.
You do small and large things every day to preserve and respect our planet and all this magnificent creation. You work hard to set an example for your children that will impact generations to come. Your actions teach your children life lessons that will make them better people.
You are part of the celebration!