- This excerpt is taken from our “Hands-on and hearts-in nature” Teacher guide -
We get our families on board with our nature-fying when we invite them along on the journey, and involve them in our processes. No one likes to have things done to them, so dumping a nature programme on our parents with no collaboration isn’t likely to be received well. Even if we’ve established a lot and a family is new, immerse them in the journey from their get-go. Invite them and involve them. Be open to the possibilities that every single new community member can offer. That is why there is no end to this path we’re on. Every new relationship we make brings the chance for new learning and ideas.
Our parents may have been swept up in society’s move away from nature. Their own nature connection may have been interrupted, and this makes it harder for them to genuinely engage their children outdoors. Or to be keenly aware of the benefits of a natural setting. Before we go chucking research at them, we can go the inner wisdom route, and help them rediscover their own bond with the Earth. The child they once were is a really wise teacher if they can just tune into how they used to be in nature, and how they felt. There are many ways we can prompt them to tap back into their own memories, and unearth their outdoor play history: dialogue, parent evenings, provoking questions on their sign in area, social media blurbs. A great way for accessing the memory bank is to actually take them outdoors, let their bodies remember as they go barefoot in the grass, wade in the stream, climb up a tree. This could be a parent evening or event, or challenges you offer as fun parent ‘homework’.
Once parents are back in touch with the nature loving child who still lives inside of them, they can keep that ‘person’ in mind as they explore their worries about their own child being so authentically outdoors. If they picture how it feels to be told they can’t head outside, that there is indoor work to be done, or the weather is too ‘bad’ it may shift their perspective.