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Adding a Greenhouse: Teaching Grandchildren Lessons Through Gardening

If you can afford to install a greenhouse, you could invest in a method that can be greatly beneficial to yourself and your grandchildren. It can also be a method that could improve the value of your home, but that’s a discussion for another time. A greenhouse can do more for your family than simply be a place where you grow plants of various kinds. What kind of an impact can a greenhouse have on your relationship with your grandchildren?

1. Bonding – Some of the fondest of memories for many adults is when they spent time in the greenhouse with a grandparent. No electronics, game systems, television or other diversion exists in this space. The attention can be spent fully on the company and the goal of planting various flowers or even fruits and vegetables. It is this time spent together that makes the expense worthwhile for many grandparents. The greenhouse can easily help set the groundwork for open discussions about anything in life.

2. Communication Building – For some children, helping a grandparent in the garden or greenhouse can give a frustrated adolescent something to do other than mull over a problem. After a time, he or she could become relaxed enough to open up and either vent frustrations or seek guidance regarding the situation. Spending hands-on time together is a natural pathway to bonding.

3. Divulging Wisdom – Instead of gardening in silence, this gives you a great opportunity to openly discuss random events or subject matter. Remember, your grandkids don’t have the life wisdom you have accumulated over the years. Many circumstances the children of today face are somewhat different than what you experienced, but you’d be amazed how often the solutions are similar.

4. Listening – One of the most profound methods of interacting with children is to simply listen to them. By asking simple questions throughout the conversation, you can engage the child on an intellectual level regardless of the topic. The grandkids may even teach you something new. Just listening to the random ramblings of a child can help you understand how he or she perceives the world. At any rate, few things in this world are as entertaining as listening to a five-year old describe the Universe and all that is within.

5. Sharing the Importance of Plant Life – During your time in the greenhouse, you and the grandchild could discuss the importance of plants to the survival of every life on the planet. Each plant has a purpose in the grand scheme of things, and understanding that purpose can lay the ground work to understanding humanity’s role on Earth. You don’t have to be a Green Peace advocate to realize the importance of plants for the survival of creatures across the globe.

6. Relaxing – Many find that gardening in any form is quite relaxing. While the grandchildren may not put a great deal of stock in feeling peace of mind, it can still impact the rest of his or her day. Working with your hands and helping in the creation of projects can fill you with pride as well as focus attention away from things that weigh heavily on the mind. This is also true for the grandchildren.

If you’re looking for an activity that you and the grandchildren can bond over, consider taking up gardening. You may find that you enjoy it and spending time with the grandkids more than you knew.

For more on gardening

Michelle LeRowe helping grandparents teach gardening to grandchildrenWith over 20 years of experience in the nanny world as an award-winning nanny, agency director, and parenting author, Michelle LaRowe is considered a leading industry expert. A mom herself, she loves to educate parents and nannies on the importance of quality in-home childcare. Find out more by visiting @eNannySource on Twitter. 

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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