We live in a society where technology controls almost everything we do. Young people are even more driven by their use of technology and the need to be connected to it at all times. But what if we took that technological connection away and gave them a new type of connection?
We know, it’s not easy tearing those tumultuous teens away from their phones, tablets and laptops and reconnecting them with nature. They think you’re taking the world away from them and punishing them for something, but we need to show them that we’re not. That the move away from screens to trees is a positive step that will improve their wellbeing, communication and health. That taking some time in the fresh air will make them feel so much better than chatting over the internet. How do we do this? We hear you ask.
You can’t just decide one Sunday morning that your teen is going to stop what they’re doing and take a walk in the woods (well you could, but in the long run it might not achieve the results you want). Start by taking small steps with them, especially if this is something that might be new to them. You could even, initially, use their virtual connection as the bait to get them outside. We love taking photo’s and will often share them on Instagram and Facebook, you could make this suggestion to the teen in your life and get them to find amazing photo’s that would work on social media.
Once out in the great outdoors, it’s amazing what they will find and how quickly they will start to enjoy what they’re doing. Our blog, Noticing Nature, explains more about being observant and taking note of what is around you.
Apps such as Plantsnap can be a useful way of engaging your teen in learning about nature through the use of the photos they may take outdoors and being able to identify a wide range of plant species.
Bring back childhood memories
Using fond memories from their childhood is also a positive way to get teens back outdoors. “Do you remember when we used to go to the woods and you would climb the trees?” Spark their interest with what they loved to do and build on that as the days, weeks and months go on.
Smell is a massive memory jogger and using the smells of nature and of being outdoors will encourage enthusiasm from you teen, in time.
Take your time
It may not be a quick process; but perseverance, patience and positivity will work in the end and you will be left with a teen who feels better in themselves and who loves being reconnected with nature.
Once you have reconnected you teen, then you will be able to ensure that they are provided with the many positive benefits of being in nature. This will help them not only in their personal lives, but with their education and mental and physical health. And all of this through spending some time “being ” in nature.
Join a Wild Minds Wild Family Adventure
If you have a teen that has overcome the initial shock of spending time away from technology, then why not bring them along to a session with Wild Minds. We offer all sorts of session types and can also tailor something to suit a particular family need. Our Facebook page will always have details of what we have on offer.