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Caring parenting / Nature to create strong bonds with children

One of the most direct and well-known therapeutic effects of nature is its calming and soothing effect. Since the 1980s, Japan has been using the expression shirin-yoku , meaning forest bath, to prescribe outdoor activities as an alternative treatment for stress and anxiety. In recent years, the rest of the world has followed suit, and nature prescriptions have been designated by the Global Wellness Summit as one of the world's top eight wellness trends for 2019.






Did you know that since January 2022, doctors in Canada have been able to prescribe discovery cards in Canadian national parks?






If immersing yourself in the forest to watch the treetops dance in the wind is beneficial for adults, it's just as true for children. Nature provides a state of serenity that enhances a toddler's ability to concentrate, allowing him or her to anchor both feet in the earth and savor the present moment. The opportunity to be, rather than to do.

Getting together as a family in the great outdoors takes us away from the overwhelming stimuli of everyday life, allowing us to disconnect from the often frantic pace of the world we live in, to reconnect with what matters most, with the people who matter most.

Family microadventures are ideal times to forge strong intergenerational bonds, or to strengthen existing ones. Experts regularly talk about the importance of eating together as a family, to take advantage of this gathering to communicate together. At Ti-Mousse, we believe it's just as important to find a nearby nature activity that will appeal to all members of your clan, and to make space in your family calendar to practice it as often as possible.

Here are a few simple exercises you can incorporate into your outings to practice caring parenting in nature:

  • Use the snack break to talk together, taking turns listing the moments for which you are filled with gratitude. The "3 best moments of the day" game is a fun way to focus children on what went well, what they loved.
  • Lying on a blanket describing the shapes of the clouds, take advantage of this moment to fill your little ones' reservoir of love, which constantly needs to be watered. Hug, kiss, tickle, laugh heartily and look at each other with tenderness and affection.
  • Let your children have their say and help them go further in their thinking, without judgment, without trying to correct them or give them a truthful answer to their questions. The links they establish between their ideas and the recognition you give them, by listening to them, play a fundamental role in building their self-confidence and developing their judgment.
  • If a difficult situation arises, or a child experiences frustration in an activity or in the resolution of a conflict between siblings, this is an opportune moment to positively emphasize the error, in order to transform what might otherwise be experienced as a failure into a learning opportunity.




In the end, don't forget that prioritizing your family's nature outings is already a great success, and the benefits will naturally be felt, even (especially) if it boils down to a wonderful period of free play surrounded by trees with no directed activities.




Amélie Floriot for Ti-Mousse dans Brousse

Photos by Amélie Floriot