As a father of four, I try and discover learning lessons for my kids in my everyday parenting. It’s not always easy, but imperative when attempting to raise well-rounded kids. Newsflash! Well-rounded kids grow up to be well-rounded adults and our world can definitely use more of those, don’t you think?

While the internet isn’t always the best resource for finding these learning lessons, (think Tide Pod Challenge), at times, a gem pops up and this most recent gem is called the #Trashtag Challenge.

I am actually very eager to complete this with my family and inspire other families to take the challenge as well.

What is the #Trashtag Challenge?

It’s a social media focused effort to encourage people to help clean up the environment. Simple. Smart. Meaningful.

Life hasn’t always been easy for my wife and I. We’ve certainly had our own share of challenges. My oldest son, now 20, who we adopted at the age of six, was diagnosed at the age of eight with RAD, (Reactive Attachment Disorder), a condition in which an infant or young child doesn’t establish healthy attachments with parents or caregivers.

Getting outside and completing the #Trashtag Challenge is going to be very meaningful to us all. In the past, hiking and exploring nature have helped my son, and us, tremendously.

When I reach families who are desperately seeking solutions for their own troubled teens, I always recommend connecting with nature. This is why the #Trashtag Challenge is so important. Yes, we are helping the environment, which is amazing, but what we may not realize is that we are helping our children…and ourselves.

Did you know that getting kids outside can have a huge impact on their disposition?

Spring is here and spring cleaning doesn’t just limit itself to things inside the house. This spring, my family is focusing on the outside. Snapping that before and after photo of an area we choose to clean up for the #Trashtag Challenge and sharing it across social media channels, will be very powerful for several reasons.

While it shouldn’t take a social media challenge to force the world to wake up, it certainly is an effective alarm clock for helping to clean up the earth, spending time together as a family and teaching life lessons.

Connecting with nature will connect you to your children and vice versa.

Educating your children about the environment now will protect the environment in the future.

The words, “I’m bored”, will be heard less and less when you promote family time more often.

Sharing your positive family experiences through social media will inspire other families to do the same.

Showing your kids how to utilize social media in a positive way and creating empathy, will lead to a decrease in online bullying.

I hope this story helps to motivate all of you to take the #Trashtag Challenge with your kids. Get off the couch, get off your phones and get on board with teaching your kids how to give back. The world will thank you for it later!

Tyler Jacobson is a proud father, husband, writer and outreach specialist with experience helping parents and organizations that help troubled teen boys. Tyler has focused on helping through honest advice and humor on: modern day parenting, struggles in school, the impact of social media, addiction, mental disorders, and issues facing teenagers now. Follow Tyler on Twitter and Linkedin.



Image courtesy of Melissa Askew.