Green Is Good! 6 Ways To Help Your Kids Love the Great Outdoors

It's easy enough for parents to become preoccupied with giving their children so many of the essential skills in life. Whether it's developing their reading skills and writing skills, all these things can come with time. What we can find is that our children may be missing out on other aspects of life that we, very simply, have not figured to be so important in the long run. A great example is the great outdoors. If we want our children to be excited about the idea of adventure and, of course, get them away from the screens, we've got to cultivate a love of the great outdoors. So how can we do this?

Do it Quickly!

If you've not taken your kids out ever and all of a sudden at the age of 10 you decide to take them camping or hiking, you should expect to have some frustration and kickback. It can certainly feel like more work than fun, but take them out anyway! The best thing you can do is to introduce your children to the great outdoors as soon as possible and make it a part of your lifestyle. One of the best ways to do this is to get out as soon as possible. The fact is that if you are new to the whole camping experience yourself you may also need some extra support with regards to camping gear. But there are plenty of suppliers such as EcoGear FX that can help in this respect. The best advice of the outset is to just do it.

Don't Push Them Too Hard

If you have been a very active parent but that took a sideline while you were raising your kids for the first few years of their lives, you can run the risk of pushing them so hard that they associate the outdoors with negative thoughts. What you have to remember is that baby steps in their mind could be the smallest of things that go in the right direction. Rather than taking an epic trip across to the other side of the country, you can start smaller with short hikes and work up to longer ones. But you can also think about camping out in the garden. While camping out in the garden seems like a good idea, when your children are old enough to decide that they don't like it and want to go inside, you shouldn't force them to come back because this idea of “enforced fun” won’t work for anyone.

Evaluate Their Readiness

You may think that they are not ready in the slightest to get outside, which is why you need to employ baby steps, but you also need to gauge their reactions. Because exposing your child to something new is not always going to result in a favorable reaction, this is why you need to ascertain how ready they are based on a number of factors. These would include

With each of these areas, you may have to dial it in and give them a more gradual approach to handling stress. There could be aspects that make them feel more anxious than you realize. For example, if they get their feet wet this could be a stressful thing for them, especially when they're not used to going out in wet conditions. Having good quality clothing and footwear is important of course, but also remember that you could find that what you think is stressful for them is not in the slightest. This is why you need to be prepared for everything and gauge how ready you think they are by observing them for a while. 

Bribery and Motivation Is Not a Bad Thing

This is essential if you are taking them on a longer hike. You have to remember to create positive associations in their minds so they will think that going hiking is a good thing. For example, you can let them take their own gear such as a walkie-talkie or headlamp, let them be in charge, and of course, offer the ever-reliable candy bar. It's also vital to remember that while your child may kick up a stink because they don't want to do something because they're tired, does it mean that they will feel like this in 30 minutes’ time? When your child is tired, it could very well be that they are hungry. This is why it's vital to keep an eye out for the warning signs of being hangry, such as going quiet or being a bit grumpy. Sometimes that lovely big chocolate bar can make a massive difference.

Establish Ground Rules

The best thing you can do is to explain to your children what you will be doing and also what is expected of them. While it's a good idea to welcome any questions or concerns, one of the best little ground rules is “no complaining.” It's important for you to reassure them that you won't ask them to do anything they aren't comfortable with and you will be there throughout the entire thing, but you also need to make them feel like they are part of the process so they have control over it. This is what will go a long way to relieving stress.

Get Them Out of the House More

Children may want to play indoors where all the devices are because they say there is “nothing to do outside,” but if you want to cultivate a love for the great outdoors it's not just about you going with them, but giving them time out in the great wide open to get used to things themselves. Giving them unstructured play is vital to their development and it will help them to keep fit and healthy.

While you may not be a big fan of the great outdoors yourself, there are so many benefits to being outside. If you really want to raise a healthy and happy child, it's vital to get this wheel in motion as soon as possible.

1 comment :

  1. Great ideas, thanks for sharing! Luckily, my kids really enjoy the outdoors, so it isn't very hard to get them to enjoy it. The weather is what keeps us from having to stay inside though!