Okay so this is simple conjecturing post about the things I would like my daughters to learn and experience. I want to expand on each one in the future and hope to have some great anecdotes. So subscribe over on the right for the monthly round-up newsletter.
Whether it’s putting up a tent or learning about maps or waxing a surfboard, there is such a variety of things to solve and think about. This will lead to practical skills and help them to be independent thinkers.
This could be a big topic. But things like sailing and canoeing is all about team work and communication. Learning to belay while the other climbs is communication and learning to rely and be reliable. You’ll also learn how best to explain things, simplify and bring to their level. You also might allow them to safely make mistakes and communicate how to right it.
It’s all play to them, most of all with the small things, like putting a tent up and burrowing under the fly sheet. This might stress you out especially if you’re wrestling a new tent but remember to include them. Bear in mind that something as simple as sleeping in a tent in the garden will blow their minds as much as being in some luxury or remote foreign campsite. Build them up gradually. It’s all new games to them.
Prior preparation is so important for an enjoyable and safe time. Why can’t the kids be involved in planning what kit to bring, watching weather forecasts or choosing which campsite to visit?
In our computer game and television age, getting outdoors is even more important. A good dose of fresh air will help them sleep better at night – good for them and you. Plus that Vitamin D malarkey, building stronger bones and reducing the chance of obesity. Fresh air is also linked to mental well-being and less hyperactivity, which can only be a good thing.
The great outdoors is so inspiring. Not only could you tie in something literally creative, like painting a mountain or making a video with them about an adventure. But you are giving them lifelong memories that will become ideas for future creative endeavours.
The wonder of God’s creation
Even if you aren’t a believer, you get the point. Isn’t the world amazing? Let them see it, experience it and have fun in it. Let them marvel at amazing rainbows as powerful waves crash against rocks. Let them gape at a pair of owls floating through the trees.
The rough with the smooth
There is no way that it will always go well. You may well be eating in the rain. A wetsuit is never pleasant to take off. And cleaning the mud off a bike sucks. But letting them experience the rough only makes the good times better.
Respect for the elements and nature
It’s so important that we teach our kids about how delicate our world is, how it will be their hands. They’re sure to understand a lot more clearly in an unspoilt place that a crisp wrapper stands out like a sore thumb. They’ll also have a healthy respect for the power of the elements, how quickly the weather can change, the might of the sea, and how to plan around this.
The thrill and adrenaline
Conquering fears and building a bold and confident person. Our world is getting more and more risk averse and health and safety mad. Let them take a few risks. Adrenaline also relieves stress, so if your kids are doing exams, an adventure can only help. Also doesn’t big happy smiles melt your hearts?
Living each day at a time
Living each minute at a time. Life is too short after all. Adventures help us live in the now. It helps us stop and think, wonder and marvel. Alistair Humphreys has coined the phrase “microadventures” – small adventures we can have every day. Do spend some time over on his blog. It’s quite inspiring.
Build friendships and family togetherness
You’ll have special time together and memories to share, especially the rough times, that you can laugh about later.
We’ll have fun. We’ll have all these benefits too. And we might feel a bit smug about ourselves.
I’ve spent a bit of time on the Meeks family blog. They call this approach B.R.A.V.E parenting. Go and check out their great blog too.
Have I missed anything? Or do you have examples of where these have played out?