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Tweens & Gardening: Do They Mix?

by Michele | June 16th, 2016 | Seasonal, Tweens
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Tween-in-a-gardenIf you’ve been reading the articles this week, you’ve seen that the theme is gardening. As I contemplated gardening and the tween age group, I did wonder, Do they mix?

I apologize for my ambivalence, but my answer is maybe. It really depends on two things. First, it depends on your child. Second, it depends on your approach to this hobby.

We’ll start with your tween. Does your tween express an interest in gardening? Does he have his own plant in his bedroom or ask to help take care of your houseplants? When you discuss gardening, does he talk excitedly about what you might plant or ask to help choose seeds? If the answers to these questions are affirmative, then you have an easy answer to this question. Your tween will be glad to garden.

Of course, if the answer is negative, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. This is where your approach to gardening is key. Gardening should be seen as a fun hobby, not a chore. Let’s look at a couple scenarios.

  • Saturday morning, 7:00 a.m. You greet your tween daughter with, “Wake up, sleepy head! It’s time to have some breakfast and plant the garden.” I know a fair amount of adults who like gardening but wouldn’t be excited by that prospect.
  • Monday afternoon, 2:00 p.m. Your tween asks to go to a friend’s house for a sleepover that night. You answer, “Sure, I just need you to weed the garden before you go.”

If you want gardening to be a hobby, it’s important not to turn it into a chore. If your tween perceives gardening as a have-to-do item, it takes the fun out of it. I’m not saying that your tween shouldn’t be asked to help, but I also wouldn’t expect weeding of the garden to drive passion.

Besides turning gardening into a chore, how can you gauge and/or guide your tween’s interest in gardening? Start by talking to him about the garden you want to plant. Seek input for produce or flowers that he would like to see grown. If there are items that he enjoys being grown in your backyard, he’s more likely to want to help. Another way to encourage interest is to invite your tween to join you while working in the garden. If you’re heading outside to weed, plant, or what have you, ask your daughter to come along. Even if she just stands there, this could be an opportunity for one-on-one conversation. You never know, she might decide it’s more fun to plant while chatting, rather than just standing there.

Gardening can be a fun hobby for all ages. While no hobby is one size fits all, with the right approach, there’s a greatly likelihood that your green thumb will be passed down the family tree.

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