How can we encourage our children and grandchildren to spend more time outside the home?
Spending too much time on the Internet is causing emotional and physical stress in children.
Parents worldwide have been trying to find ways to keep their children away from mobile gadgets and computer games. Unfortunatly we parents often fail in that effort.
I feel that bird watching, often known as birding, is the finest hobby to nurture in their children. It has been demonstrated that learning to interact with nature at a young age can aid in developing numerous qualities and abilities in children that only mother nature can teach. Let us look at them one by one.
1. Keeping children safe from the pernicious effects of the internet.
Our children devote far too much time to YouTube and online gaming, negatively influencing their physical and emotional well-being. Doctors and specialists fear it might harm their memory, mental health, and longevity. But, once your children are active in birdwatching, they will spend more time outdoors looking for birds and other natural wonders. This will significantly improve their physical and emotional well-being.
2. An openness to learn nature’s laws and miracles
Many of my friends often tell me about their children’s inability to accept failures and their lack of enthusiasm to fight to achieve certain goals they have set for themselves. But, time spent in nature will teach our children that failures and defeats are natural and every being has a place in this world. Likewise, humans can also learn many virtues from modest birds that machines cannot teach.
3. Birdwatching can encourage children to wander more and train their eyes to focus on faraway objects.
Bird watching demands a lot of walking in the sun. It will bring many benefits to children’s overall health. Besides helping better vitamin D absorption, walking will regulate appetite, improves body posture and finally results in restful sleep at night. Another significant benefit of spending time in nature is that it can provide much-needed exercise for the eyes by focusing on objects at different distances in varied lighting conditions.
4. It can quench the instinct to hunt.
We were hunter-gatherers for thousands of years. That propensity, I believe, remains with us. Children unknowingly engage in a number-chasing game when they identify birds and keep track of sightings. That is why some people consider bird watching an outdoor game. Many birdwatchers have told me that when they correctly identify a bird and put a tick mark in their life list (A record of the species of birds that a birdwatcher has observed), they get the same thrill that a hunter might be getting. Most bird watchers maintain a life list and keep a careful eye on how their list grows. We should encourage children to record the birds they see, and just like adults, it will encourage them to spend most of their free time outdoors chasing birds.
5. It can help them to learn how to participate in group activities.
Humans are social creatures. Our ability to communicate, share ideas, and work as a team is the reason why we humans have become such a superior species. The ability of its members to interact effectively and empathically with one another is critical for the survival of two important institutions in the world: the family and society. Unfortunately, the amount of quality time spent by family members together has decreased significantly over the last few decades. We need to change it. We must find more time to spend with the family. Family outings are good opportunities to deepen family bonds. Birding can be a “healthy” trigger for frequent family outings.
6. It is inexpensive and straightforward to start.
Birding is an easy hobby to start. The first step is getting kids to watch the birds in your garden or backyard. Buying a field guide about birds in your area will help them learn to identify the birds they see. As parents, we may have to put in some time and effort initially to get things off the ground. I’m sure that as kids learn more about birds and become more interested in them, they will take their newfound love to the next level themselves. It would be a good idea to take them on field trips to nearby national parks or birding sites, and joining a local birding group will also be beneficial.