‘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.
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 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
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.
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.