Love the Earth, Love Your Mama
Mother Earth. It’s a phrase commonly used in our culture, though we rarely think about what it really means. As Earth Day rolls around, it’s a good time to step back and give some thought to the idea that the Earth is a Mother.
For those of us who are mothers, we know that when you are a mother, you are the one who gives and cares for others and sacrifices your own needs for the good of your children and family. You are patient with the small rebellions, small insults, temper tantrums, messes, refusals to clean up, waking in the night, coming home late, forgetting to call…all the things that children do. You handle accidents, clean up spills, vacuum, scrub the toilet, comfort the hurts, etc. You can handle it all, as long as deep down you know you are loved, cared for, and, even if you are a little taken for granted, your loving is not abused. For Mothers, the love children give to you, is the most precious in the world and makes it all worthwhile.
So, what’s it like to be Mother Earth? She has been patiently putting up with us, her children, for a long time. We have been behaving like spoiled brats in many ways – taking her for granted, leaving huge messes, running up big bills she can’t afford to pay and, really, abusing her love and generosity to us. She has been waiting for us to show how much we love her, but that seems to be a long time coming! Some mothers would just walk out. So far, she is still with us.
Earth Day is a reminder. Earth Day is really Mother’s Day. And if we can’t take her out to dinner, we should at least give something back to her and treat her with love and respect.
It’s a good message to give children about treating those we love, and who love us, with tenderness, care and respect.
You can use Earth Day as an opportunity to introduce the idea of Mother Earth to your children. let them know how much the Earth gives to them, and show them how they can take care and show Mother Earth the love and respect she deserves..
It is tempting to teach children about the terrible degradation of Mother Earth that is currently taking place. But rather than scaring them, the best way to teach children to value and appreciate our planet is to focus on the positive.
Let children know what a beautiful and marvelous place our earth is. Share the wonders of nature with them. Teach children what they can do to show their appreciation and love, be it recycling, turning off lights, bringing bags when shopping, reusing things creatively, passing on toys and clothes that they have outgrown to others, treating animals (and people) with kindness, etc.
If you have a place to grow seeds (especially edible ones), plant with your children and have them see the wonder and magic of the growing process. (check out our wonderful kids gardening gloves and tools!)
And most importantly, if you really want your children to learn to love the earth, go outside and Play!!! There is a growing body of evidence indicating that the most important factor in people developing environmental concern is having childhood experiences in nature, with people one loves and cares about. It doesn’t matter if the person grows up in the city or a beautiful mountain community. If children have opportunities to play and have fun in nature in a relaxed, unstructured way, especially with their families, they tend to grow up to love nature and be environmentally conscious.
So head out with your kids and let them freely enjoy just being in the natural world. Take them on hikes, take them to parks, beaches, forests, mountains, etc., and if you can, take them camping! They’ll just naturally learn to love their planet and love their Mother.