kids group playing mosaic game in kindergarten

What Gardening Teaches Kids about Responsibility

Responsible individuals make better people in society. They are people who are reliable and can be trusted in their jobs, family, and community. However, responsibility, just like any other skill is best taught from an early age. This way, it becomes easier to transition to responsible adults in the future. But, it is easier said than done. Teaching responsibility to kids isn’t an easy task. It involves showing kids what it means to be a responsible person. This includes being accountable for their mistakes, being trustworthy, making the right decisions, being dependable, taking responsibility for themselves and others as well as knowing how their choices affect them and others among many other lessons. Thankfully, gardening provides opportunities for kids to learn this and more. Here are 5 things that kids learn about responsibility through gardening.

Taking care of themselves and others

Being a responsible person starts with being responsible for oneself and others. This means minding your thoughts, words, and actions to avoid hurting your life or the lives of those around you. How can gardening teach this to your kids? Well, gardening involves using sharp tools for tilling the land and chemicals for spraying the crops that can be harmful to humans. Such tasks need one to be extra careful when handling them to avoid getting hurt or hurting others. Teach your kids the importance of using gardening tools the right way, minding the sharp edges and blades. Also, insist on wearing protective gear, closed-toe shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and the like when carrying out gardening tasks. Additionally, remind them to keep the tools in the right place after they are done using them. If your kids are too young for sharp tools or harmful chemicals, let them see you doing it right. Eventually, they will learn that everybody is responsible for his or her own safety as well as that of others.

Dependability

Responsible people are dependable. They can be relied upon to complete tasks that they are required to do by their family, society, and bosses. Gardening provides a perfect opportunity for you to assign tasks to your kids. The good thing is that gardening doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have some space indoors, you can easily grow houseplants and veggies with the help of 4×4 indoor grow tents and grow lights to provide the right growth conditions for your plants. Let your kids do simple tasks such as watering crops, harvesting fruits, removing weeds, and the like. Older kids can handle checking the lights among other tasks. Let the kids know that they are responsible for the assigned tasks. Most importantly, tell them the importance of these tasks in the growth of the plants, and be sure to follow through to ensure that they actually do them when they are required to.

Responsibility for their actions

Mistakes are inevitable in life. But, when they do happen, responsible people own their mistakes. They don’t point a blaming finger at other people or make excuses. They simply admit that they were wrong and promise to do better in the future. Gardening isn’t an easy task for kids. It can be very hard for them to be fully committed to taking care of the plants and are likely to forget to do some tasks. It is important to help them take care of the plants without them knowing. However, it is equally important to let them lose some plants. Use the opportunity to teach them the price of negligence. Show them that things can go wrong if they aren’t committed enough to do what they are expected to do. Additionally, help them to realize their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions. You can remind them of when they opted to play instead of tending to their crops. This can go a long way in helping them make better decisions or do things differently the next time.

Taking charge of their lives

Being responsible also means taking charge of one’s life. This involves making plans, setting goals, and finding ways to nurture and grow skills and talents. It also includes planning your day and scheduling tasks, appointments, and everything else you need to take care of in your day. This helps you stay on top of things and your responsibilities. Equally, gardening requires a lot of planning and scheduling. Some plants do well at a certain time of the year. Other plants thrive when planted next to a certain plant, or in a certain way. There are also various decisions needed in gardening. You have to decide the best location of the garden, the perfect size, which plants to grow, when to plant, when to water, when to weed and so much more. Additionally, you might need to do a little bit of research on how to grow some plants for them to thrive. Make sure to involve your kids in the planning and researching. They can learn a lot about making good plans and better decisions about life.

Responsibility is a good trait to have

Responsible individuals are appreciated by their families and the society. Moreover, being responsible can make one feel good about themselves. This raises their self-esteem and they strive to do better every day. Gardening can be rewarding when done right. Kids can enjoy the fruits of their hard work and responsibility through bountiful harvests of their crops. They will take pride when the family partakes in meals from veggies they helped take care of. Take advantage of such moments to show them the fruits of being committed to their tasks. In addition, take every opportunity to praise their good work. If they remember to water the plants, or they forgo playing to tend to their gardens, make sure to commend that behavior.

Conclusion

Gardening with kids can be quite a daunting task, especially thinking about the mess that kids create. However, gardening can be a learning tool for important life skills. Little lessons here and there during gardening can instill a feeling of responsibility in children. They can learn the importance of taking care of themselves and others, being dependable, taking responsibility for their actions, and taking charge of their lives.  It is about time that you start getting your kids involved with gardening, and be sure to take the opportunities given to teach them this important life skill.