When I was putting together the article on ‘Children and the Outdoors’ for ParentEdge’s current issue, I was struck by how some families were truly ‘outdoorsy’. These people are so ‘Let’s go’ – a mother took her month-old infant on a trek, in a carrier. A busy father makes sure the family’s annual vacation always has camping or cycling in it. A mother talked about how she let her tweens and teens go fishing and swimming in the family estate grounds, rather than enrol them in summer camps.
Many, many impressive examples. Impressive, especially, to our family, who would rather spend Sundays curled up indoors with books rather than trek up a hill. But, it is never too late, and not at all impossible, to try something new, to tweak our mindset. And here is how I found ways to overcome the common objections – no time, not fit enough, children will fall sick, children will fuss etc.
• Start small – pick a hill or forested area close to where you live. Don’t fret if you cannot complete the climb or trek. Go further each Sunday and one day your family will be able to do it.
• Let go – children sometimes do not mind mosquito bites or the hot sun as much as we adults do. Take the necessary precautions (enough food and water, protective gear for rain, sun etc.) but do not rant or grumble about your discomfort.
• Tag along – with an ‘outdoorsy’ family. Their enthusiasm can be infectious.
There are more tips for greenhorns like me, in the article. Do read!