Gardening for Single Parents and Kids

I started gardening for my health several years ago. It was a solitary exercise that provided huge health benefits for me. It didn’t occur to me to ever include my children until one day they kept talking about how bored they were — a dreadful thing for any parent to hear. Instead of forcing them to join me in the garden, I asked if they would mind keeping me company. They balked at first, but then began peppering me with tons of questions about the plants and flowers. Before I knew it we were all digging and weeding, and we had spent three hours in the garden! It was one of the most wonderful afternoons I’ve ever spent with my children. They now help me all the time, and have their own patch of garden to tend to. It’s been a great activity for our family to enjoy together.

Single parents often feel as if they don’t have a moment to themselves as they run kids to activities, help with homework, work, and keep the house running. Many find it difficult to make time for themselves and to find time to truly connect as a family. However, gardening can be a great outlet both for single parents and their children, and it’s a hobby with wonderful health benefits as well.

Gardening as a family doesn’t have to be complicated

The Families Blog points out that you don’t have to be an expert gardener to enjoy gardening with your kids. Gardens don’t have to be extensive or fancy, so single parents can keep things compact while still enjoying the benefits. Think of simple ways to remind your family to tend to the garden — like setting an alarm on your smartphone to remind you to water the plants — and embrace the bonding time you’ll have together as you all work on a garden from start to finish.

Cyber Parent suggests that you start off a gardening hobby with your kids by working together to create a plan. Don’t decide by yourself what your family will plant. Instead, give your children a chance to make these decisions and create a design with you. Your family can go with herbs, flowers, or vegetables, or you may want to do a little bit of all three.

Start small and remember to have fun

It may be tempting to start with bedding plants, but kids often get a great deal of satisfaction in planting seeds and watching them sprout. The process of choosing what to plant, setting a budget, heading to the garden shop, and preparing the home garden gives single parents a great chance to spend quality time with their kids and teach them some valuable lessons along the way.

When it comes to being a single parent gardening with kids, you may want to start relatively small. Single With Kids recommends focusing on a manageable project with just a few different varieties. Planting too many things at once can be overwhelming and set your family up for failure. Better to start small — you can always add more down the road.

The Simple Dad Blog points out that it’s important to keep gardening fun. If kids aren’t enjoying the process or they see it as boring, they won’t stay engaged and everybody will get frustrated. Take a break if the kids start to pull away or get bored.

Health benefits to single parents and kids

Gardening can be a great source of physical activity for everybody in the family, reducing stress and anxiety for frazzled parents. As you work in the garden with your kids, you will get a chance to relax and see your mental health improve.

This hobby is beneficial to kids as well, providing not only learning opportunities, but a chance to stay active and build their own mental health. Hearth and Vine notes that there are some indications that gardening can help prevent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Many people experience a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol as a result of their gardening efforts.

There are many health benefits that come from gardening, and these can be particularly beneficial to single parents and their children. Not only is gardening a hobby that keeps one’s brain stimulated and body moving, but it helps to develop feelings of calm and tranquility, reduce stress levels and combat depression. Gardening can strengthen the bond between a parent and child, and it’s easy to get started — even for the inexperienced.

Maria Cannon

[Image courtesy of Pixabay]


Ms. Cannon believes we’re never too young to dedicate ourselves to a hobby. She created HobbyJr to encourage young people to find a hobby they love.