Gardens: The missing piece of a proper home for a family

As a mother of three boys and two grumpy girls, my go to place has been the backyard garden I planted during my layoff during the Covid-19 period. When the teenagers want to address something that is bothering them, we talk about it while planting or weeding the vegetables.

Like nannies, home gardens are the best babysitters, supporting children with broken parents to grow alongside the plants they cater for.

In this modern world where 70% of time is spent analysing and consuming social media, a home garden is the only thing left to bring the children back to the original settings. Gardens create and build communities; they supply food, as well as supporting a family’s wellbeing.

In the past, it was seemingly a rule to have a home garden; mothers spent their free time tending to the plants while the rest of the family awaited the freshness in the meals served.

Many people today blame empty homes on space, but gardening has never really been about plots and large areas. Even the smallest balcony can accommodate a garden.

As not every parent is good at teaching children unmatched skills for good growth, alternatives like gardening can substitute for what is not working.

Once you introduce your little ones to the idea of gardening, you will be surprised how enjoyable parent-child time will become. Since children naturally love playing in dirt and watching things grow, gardening will offer an extensive opportunity to further explore these skills.

The first lesson should be teaching them the process of growth. Give each a seed; show them how to plant it and what is required. Then task them to take care of it until harvest time.

Whereas gardening can look like a tasking chore; here are some benefits we have observed in the long run.

Plants teach patience

From seedling to sprouting, flowering and harvest. All these details are all very important and practical. Make sure the children get to interact with smell, texture, color, size and other specifics. At each stage remind them that good things come to those who wait, you can paint it on a piece of wood and tug it to the garden as a daily reminder.

Plants entice children into responsibility

In the first days, Lorna was not as invested in her assigned onion plant until it got a leaf, then she woke to it every day, watering it and making sure it is getting enough light. Then it became her responsibility and no one had to remind her anymore.

Gardening stimulates sensory development

The plants give children an experience of recognising the value of the 5 senses.  Children will be drawn to the smell of flowers, they will see different colours and at such a time, questions can be integrated. Some of the questions could be:

What colours are present?

Can you hear the bees or wind thrush through?

What do you feel when you touch the soil?

Can they smell the stinging scents of bell peppers or chillies?

Gardening allows space for expression and bonding

Every parent has that one child who is curled up into their feelings, introduce them to gardening and this will create team work and a sense of trust. The time factor will also make it convenient for them to open up.

Other benefits may include;

Aiding in development of motor skills.

An opportunity to expand vocabulary.

Better sleep since it tires children out and allows longer rest time.

Gardening improves mood and keeps children busy

At the end of the day, a home garden is not only a place to get fresh vegetables and fruits. Families can make garden time bonding time while giving parents a chance to educate their children naturally.

Honestly the mobile phone will not only ruin the possibility of your children to relate with others, but also cripple their brain and growth journey.

We are not traditional mothers as many people refer to us; we are mothers who are naturally doing our roles because we understand how wonderful it is to raise children who can contribute practically to the world.

By Grace K. Lukeera

The writer is a mother, wife and keen gardener


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