Do you want your children to care for something living without having to feed it, take it on walks or clean up its messes? Usually when parents purchase pets for their kids, they end up doing the bulk of the work. After all, you can't just allow your children to learn the hard way — a forgetful child might starve the dog by accident!
But there is one living thing your children can take care of without incurring such dire consequences — and that is a plant.
If your children either forget to water their plants or give them too much water, the greenery will wilt and eventually die. As a result, when a plant is exhibiting a problem, it provides a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to work together to find a solution. As businessman Richard Branson says, "The best way of learning about anything is by doing."
Keeping plants in your house is good for everyone's mental health, too. A medically-reviewed article in Healthline by MFA student Rebecca Joy Stanborough lists seven science-based benefits of owning indoor plants.
"A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that plants in your home or office can make you feel more comfortable, soothed, and natural," Stanborough notes.
Do you want your children to focus on more than one thing at a time? According to Stanborough, brain scans of participants in another plant study found that they "showed that the students who studied with real, live plants in the classroom were more attentive and better able to concentrate than students in the other groups."
And these are just two of the seven benefits listed.
Additionally, allowing kids to care for plants works as a learning tool.
Last year, blogger Veronica Moore, who has over 10,000 followers on her Instagram account, @brownskinplantmama, helped put together a program at a local school that gave 300 plants to students and teachers.
One of the students brought her plant home and named it Amber, while another set of sisters brought two plants home, calling them Greeny and Jordan. One mother of a plant-recipient told The Morning Call that her youngest son "murdered his plant in very short order." She then discussed with him what went wrong, and they bought a new plant so he could try again.
Moore is passing her love of people and plants along to her daughter, as demonstrated by a recent Instagram post where she bragged about her daughter, who said she wanted to make the world a better place by giving everyone a plant "to make them happier."
Alright, parents! It's time to dust off those green thumbs. Whether you decide to plant a vegetable garden in your yard or simply buy a houseplant — this article lists good options for kids — get ready to reap the benefits.