It’s undoubtedly the hardest job these days when it comes to parenting, to spark in kids a love for nature, partly because of the growing influence of modern technology on our lives. The abundance of smartphones and tablets has increasingly changed the childhood experience of kids born in the current decade; making parenting a hell of a harder job than it was ever before.
Considering this predicament, simply taking kids out on an odd hike or picnic is not enough anymore; parents have to master a whole skill set of child psychology to make sure kids get in tune with nature. Following is a list of some of the traits that can prove immensely beneficial in this regard.
No Baby Strollers
The first thing you must be teaching your kids during outdoors trips is a taste of freedom, the real freedom, otherwise, you are better off at home as the kid wouldn’t learn much while being pushed around by parents. Let the kids flow with their natural creativity and try to encourage the apparently stupid plays such as jumping in the shallow part of the lake or river, but be mindful of the surroundings, keep the master control in your hands.
Leave Frustration Home
First thing parenting forcefully infuses in us is a sense of frustration that stems out of the continuous pressure of keeping a watch on the kids. This has to go once you take your kids out in the wild, your grown up tantrums can put your kids off and can limit their creativity and fun. Involve as much as you can with the kids, invoking the child inside you, keep smiling and laughing and you will see how happy the kids will become in being one with nature.
Take Baby Steps
Avoid setting up elaborate goals for your kids, be mindful of the fact that though full of immense energy kids are kids after all with limitations to mental and physical strength. You cannot grow your kids up fast, but you can drop to their level so do that, and try to learn with your kids or at least pretend to do so.
Bribery Mostly works
Introduce some sort of incentive in the activities, the sense of reward can certainly boost kids’ energy encouraging them to compete and learn much more rigorously. You can use pretty much anything for bribery including some kind of medal, food treats or a winner’s cap, etc. You need to make sure you don’t turn this into a game rather create an activity with a reward based on good performance and learning on the way.
Your Agendas don’t matter anymore
Of course, you will have your own plans and schedule while having some time out with your kids. However, you need to sacrifice your agendas and focus on the kids’ activities. You can always arrange your own wilderness activities later with your partner or friends while your kids are away with their grandparents or babysitters. Muddling up of activities will eventually confuse the children, and although you will have a good day out, kids will not learn anything.
Be Safe but let them have some freedom
Children need to learn their boundaries and have fun, sometimes that can seem a bit risky to us as parents but as long as we’re there to guide and jump in if it’s needed we should let them figure things out of themselves and also experience the knocks, scrapes and bruises that come with playing outdoors and having adventures. There’s so much to learn from doing and experiencing and we have to help them on their journey so they’re better equipped for their lives as adults and parents themselves.