What the heck does a butterfly garden have to do with preventing entitlement? Well I’m glad you asked. One symptom of the entitle epidemic in our country is this expectation of being instantly gratified. If I want to watch a movie I can download it instantly, if I want to get information or go shopping, it’s just a click away. It’s like we’re training our minds to expect everything to come quickly with little effort. I partially blame technology for this. With so many things that use to require patience now instantly at our finger tips, it’s hard not to transfer that sort of thinking to other activities with potentially dangerous results.
The problem is that people have unrealistic expectations of success and prosperity without putting in the required time and effort to actually make it happen. And when they don’t get the fast results they want, they give up or do a half ass job. To prevent the instant gratification attitude in my son, we do family projects together that take time and effort to complete.
A butterfly garden is a fun project that’s cheap and accessible to all ages, especially young children who love to dig and get dirty. In fact, my 3 year old and I completed this project in about 2 weeks and spent just under $30 dollars on plants, mulch, and a boarder. You can also do a veggy or herb garden. Check out this quick DIY with photos to create a butterfly garden with your little ones. But first, here’s what you need.
2 – 4 Bags of Mulch
Boarder for Garden (Bricks, plastic, wood)
At least 3 types of butterfly attracting plants (listed below)
- Tropical Milkweed (attracts monarchs)
- Multiple varieties of Lantana
- Red and Pink Pentas
- Different varieties of orange and citrus trees
Note: Hopscotch stones and sandbox optional.
With your kids, choose a sunny spot in your yard for the garden. Most of the flowers that butterflies love need full sun. Then choose the size of your garden. It doesn’t have to be big or overly intricate, for example a 4 x 3 foot space.
Together as a family, dig out the area for your garden and remove any grass. Next add the boarder and adjust as you go. Finally, plant the flowers, cover the whole thing in mulch, and give it some water.
Make sure your kids participate in every single step, including the follow up watering and maintenance. If they’re old enough, you can even let them manage the project. It’s a great way to teach about hard work, science, nature, and the time it takes to complete a project from start to finish. Thanks for reading and please like my Facebook Page for more great stuff!
For more easy to use parenting lessons and tips, check out my latest book Entitle Me Not. It has 22 lessons and parenting stories to help parents raise polite, hard working, and accountable children. Available on Amazon, Kindle, and at your local bookstores.