Encouraging my Children to be Adventurous

‘Fill your life with adventures and with stories to tell’

Children need adventure, they need to experience risk in order to develop their ability to deal with situations and to build up their self confidence. It encourages them to be more resilient and to think for themselves. Whether the adventure be small or big, indoors or out children should be experiencing adventure to build up their skills and to able to assess the danger around them. Not only do children develop trust, empathy and compassion but they  learn to master their own fears and are able to help others get through them.

As parents we should be teaching our children to assess the danger and how to deal with the risk of being adventurous. As much as I want to wrap my boys up in cotton wool and lock them away from any danger I know that I must allow them to experience adventure to gain knowledge and new skills.

I want my boys to have memories of us being adventurous together and hopefully they will last a lifetime and something that they will then take on with their own families.

I want us to visit new places together.

I want us to try new challenges, like rock climbing and diving.

A couple of years ago I took my boys camping in Lee Valley, we travelled around on our bikes and spent the summer nights out walking along the River Lee. It’s a holiday that they still talk about and are constantly requesting to go back. It didn’t cost much and wasn’t a glamorous holiday but it was something we did together as a unit. We cycled along the river bank with an unknown destination, stopping where it took our fancy. We cycled for miles using only our sense of direction to get back. Searched for geocaches. Played hide and seek in the forests. Climbed trees. And picniced in fields.

Enjoying the scenery

It was the first time I had ever gone out cycling alone so far with the boys, but I am so glad that I did it. As we don’t live too far from there, we travelled there and back on our bikes with just clothes in our rucksacks. We had to deal with getting lost, bee stings and how to deal with punctures. It was amazing, in fact I am too scared to go back as I don’t think we could experience another holiday like it.

Now, we’re not the most adventurous family but we still try new things, even if we are scared.

We have hiked up Mount Snowdon as a family  ,entered Mud races, jumped from a crane, been canoeing, open water swimming; not all that adventurous compared to some but it’s a start 🙂

We spent this summer in Malta. The boys went swimming in the sea everyday. They taught themselves to dive, to snorkel and faced their fears by jumping off of cliffs into the crystal clear water below.

I, myself, am not that confident and would call myself a scaredy cat. As I watched my boys jump in but couldn’t face doing it myself. It took me at least a week to pluck up the courage to jump in from about 2 metres high. I was so glad that I did it, my boys just kept hugging me. I felt that I had achieved something, although it was little in comparison to what my boys had been doing. I felt a sense of adrenaline rush through me.

Here are a few things the boys got up to in the summer

Exploring caves
Exploring under the water

Jumping from cliffs into the sea. They were taught to assess the danger first. To swim around first and to see how deep it was. And to also look out for any jellyfish.

Having a mud wash

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In this day and age where children would rather communicate via social media and spend most of their spare time with their face in front of a screen I think that it’s important to encourage our children to venture outside and explore, to learn for themselves and to achieve that sense of adrenaline from adventure. I want my boys to be challenged and to be comfortable in their surroundings.

I want to spend time with my boys outside, it’s something we can do together without the distractions of modern technology. It’s about making memories, enjoying each others company and creating stories to tell for when they grow up.

 

Share

My experience at the Olympics Aquatics centre to watch the Diving

I entered a sweepstake competition on twitter last week with @AcerUK_Official for the chance to win tickets to watch the Womens Semi Final Diving at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, I didn’t think i had a chance in winning but to my surprise about an hour later a message popped into my email account from Acer saying ‘Congratulations you have won tickets to the olympics’ I screamed with delight, I couldn’t believe it, I was going to the Olympics. The tickets were for the next day so Acer kindly sent them by courier to me and they arrived at my door with hours of the amazing news, i jumped around the living room holding my tickets shouting ‘Im going to the Olympics, I’m going to the Olympics’, The boys were dancing with me and Daddy couldn’t believe his eyes when he got in from work to see us all jumping about.

The prize was only for two tickets so i decided on taking my little Oliver as i thought he may sleep through the event giving me time to watch the diving and to take it all in. I only live a few miles away from the Olympic Park so it only took me 45 minutes to arrive there, door to door. The sun was shining and it was going to be a brilliant day, on entering the park i couldn’t help but notice how friendly everyone was, the Games Makers were singing and dancing and smiling and waving at everyone as they passed, The volunteers from the Army were helpful and everyone cooed over Oliver and his Flatcap. As it was a hot day i had clipped on his stroller fan and lots of people mentioned how he was going to be the coolest kid in there, one games maker even shouted over his gramophone that Oliver was the Trendiest baby he had seen. It was surprisingly not that busy as everyone was ushered through the turnstiles in orderly files and the park was very well set out with lots of information scattered about, I was lucky that the Aquatics centre was at the entrance that i entered at which meant i didn’t have that long of a walk to get there.

Everyone was helpful and happy and the atmosphere was electric, people were waving their flags and lots were all dressed up in their countries colours. I found my seats and i couldn’t believe my eyes i was pretty much on top of the diving boards sitting parallel to them, I had a brilliant view.

Taken before the screaming started

Unfortunately Oliver hadn’t had  a sleep that morning and was getting quite ratty, the centre was hot and humid and he just would not sit still and to top it off when the crowd screamed and cheered he thought it was funny to do it back only it was when the centre went quiet that he chose to scream and squeal, he thought he was being funny and the more i told him not to the more he done it. There was no way this over tired little boy was going to sleep, what with all the noise going on around him and lots of faces to look at and even music playing in between dives he already made his mind up that he was going to stay awake.

I watched as the athletes came out one by one and was introduced to the crowd, we cheered and clapped as every one of them stepped forward and waved

After watching the first round of impressive dives, halfway through the second round i had to succumb to defeat and take Oliver out of the centre, I thought that maybe a walk around outside may tire him out but he only wanted to run along and smile at everyone as he passed, there was no way i was going to get back in and watch the rest of the dives. I took Oliver to the buggy park and picked up his stroller and guess what he fell asleep within seconds of strapping him in. It was too late to go back in to the Aquatics centre so i went for a walk around the Olympic Park to have a look around. The Park is astonishing and so huge and so much to see with all the buildings and the pretty little walkways along the river, lots of different types of food to try and there is definitely lots of people to talk to and as i walked past the Stadium i heard the crowd erupt in applause.

What an amazing day i had even though it was not for as long as i would have liked it at least i can say ‘I Was There’ So a huge massive big thank you to Acer for making my day, it was an experience i will never forget.

Thank you for reading my post 🙂

Share

366 Catch up Olympics and swimming

I’ve been a bit slack on the blog with my 366 photos, I am leaving it too late to upload my photos and then I fall asleep without uploading a 366 photo. So here are my last 3 photos

Oliver enjoying the sun in his stroller

20120810-212519.jpg

Oliver and I went to watch the women’s semi finals at the aquatic centre at the Olympics.

20120810-212730.jpg

Today was a hot day in London so the boys cooled off in the swimming pool, they had lots of fun diving down to pick up the dive sticks and they participated in their very own triathlon.

20120810-213033.jpg

Share