Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Growing Family Unity

 Growing Up and Growing Together

With Spring in the air and the warmer weather slowly rolling in, I am reminded of my childhood and my family's gardening adventures. I lived on a small farm so every Spring we would pull out the gardening gloves and shovels and start prepping for planting. It was so much a part of our bonding time that we have home videos of my sister and I stomping around in the dirt, trying to help mix the soil. I remember those memories fondly and am very grateful for the things that I learned each Spring. I learned hard work from tending the garden and I also learned about eating healthy. But I think that the most important aspect of our time together was how much we grew as a family. Yes, it was hard work, but our love for each other grew through the work.

Benefits of Gardening as a Family

  • Building Family Unity-As mentioned above, working together on any project will help promote love, patience and unity within a family.
  • Teaches Work Ethic-In today's society when we sometimes need to get creative to teach our children responsibility, gardening can be a great tool. I believe that a lot of my own work ethic was learned in the garden. 
  • Physical Fitness-Going outside and digging and shoveling can be great exercise. It also is a way of getting our children away from the television. 
  • Better Nutrition-There is nothing like a fresh salad prepared from your own garden. Gardening provides you with fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, all of which are healthy and can taste better than store bought. By growing your own food, you can also save money. 

Teaching  My Family Now

Now that I am an adult and have a family of my own, I worry about finding time to spend as a family. In my experience, gardening had so many benefits that I wanted to find a way to share that tradition with my family now. Although we live in a small second floor apartment, there are ways to still benefit from gardening. Many cities provide community gardens where families can rent small plots for very little money. Container gardening on a balcony or landing is also a great solution for those who have little space. With Earth Day coming up, I am excited to go to our garden plot and begin teaching our 14-month-old how to garden. Whatever your circumstance, gardening is a great way to grow together as a family.

Do you plan on starting a garden or have you had a good experience gardening as a family? Leave a comment below!
By  Becky 

Image: winnond /

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