Thursday, January 15, 2015



Continuing the countdown of nature mentoring tips leading up to the publication of "How to Raise a Wild Child," here's this week's offering.

Nature Mentoring tip #8
NATURE CONNECTION IS A CONTACT SPORT

Too often these days, children’s encounters with nature are dominated by a look-but-don’t-touch directive. Fearing that we must protect nature and our kids at all cost, we often do far more harm than good. Nature connection depends on firsthand, multisensory encounters. It’s a messy, dirty business—picking leaves and flowers, turning over rocks, holding wriggling worms, splashing in ponds. Lacking such experiences, children’s growth is impoverished and they’re unlikely to care for, let alone protect, natural places. So loosen up and find some hands-on nature experiences for the kids in your life. Rather than telling kids “no” all the time when they want to climb a tree, throw a rock, or step into a muddy pond, take a deep breath and offer words of encouragement. Don’t worry so much about the dirt and scrapes. Clothes and bodies can be washed, cuts heal.

Most of the time, kids don’t need to be shown how to connect with nature. It’s engrained in their DNA. Rather than seeing nature connection as something you need to teach young children, the real key is simply to take them outside and let them do what comes naturally! At least on occasion, seek out some wilder places where kids can go off-trail and bushwhack a little. Nature connection is a contact sport, and nature can take it! 

Don't forget to preorder your copy of "How to Raise a Wild Child," due out March 24th!

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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  10. Dear Scott,

    The purpose of this letter is to introduce myself, as I am so to speak, your french spokesperson. Indeed, I have been invited by Catherine Meyer, who is in charge of your book’s publication in french, “ How to raise a wild child”, for an evening social event I had the pleasure to lead last June at the office of the publishing house Les Arènes.

    That evening was a beautiful moment for sharing and since the release of your book here, some journalists got in touch with me to ask if I could talk to them about the way to awake children to nature. A first interview has indeed been published this week in one of the most read women’s magazine, Femme Actuelle !

    It is not by chance that Catherine Meyer, your collaborator, chose me to represent you. At
    35 years old, I am a scholl teacher, a mother and a nature facilitator and I work closely with the francophone networks for environmental education.

    A year and a half ago I created the blog “Eveil et Nature” in order to disseminate tools and ideas to parents and childhood professionals. Up to now, this blog has brought 17500 visitors each month and became a reference on this subject.

    For a few months now, I have been developing online training courses. The next e-training is called “Passeur de Nature” (Nature mentor) and will propose for a period of one year a series of videos on nature-based activities, throughout the seasons.

    I don’t know if we will have the opportunity to collaborate in any way, but I feel happy to get in touch with you because I had a strong and strange impression while reading your book :
    every word you wrote precisely match with mine to address issues related to nature education.
    We share the same ideas and passion, each one of us having different but complementary backgrounds. We devote our energy to a cause which has become urgent and major, and yet
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    I believe, as you do, that we must join forces to this end because there is so much to do but we still have many strong cards to play !

    I wish you every success for your book’s distribution, while dreaming that one day soon, each child will at least have once in his life a nature mentor ...

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