KIDS ACTING DISENGAGED WITH YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURES?
Have you planned a fun outdoor adventure?
Are you trying to have fun, but it seems like your kids don’t even want to be there?
One of the things you don’t find out at the time, is that they are actually enjoying it.
As parents, we worry a lot about providing our kids with fun times. We save money and plan trips that we want to be perfect. We stress over the logistics of the trip. We plan each day way in advance and have a preconceived idea on how it will all go. Perfect is how we plan it…right. Fun for everyone. This is going to be the best trip ever.
We took a few different vacations where we spent time in the great outdoors. We went hiking in forests, hiking to waterfalls and even to cool spots at Cade’s cove. We took them snowboarding in Gatlinburg, tubed a river in Florida, visited caverns, hung out at the beach and did a high ropes course. At the time, it seemed like one of them was always disengaged, irritated or just plain mad about something. We let it frustrate us because we were trying so hard to make it fun for them.
What we learned later was that they remember them as the coolest times we had.
I asked them, now as adults, what times they enjoyed and why. Stories of us hiking and losing the trail and having to navigate back to the trail to return to our vehicle get told. They laugh as they remember it as the time we got lost and one of them fell out on the trail all dramatic and frustrated that we were never going to make it back and how they were thirsting to death.
As teenagers, they enjoyed a ropes course we did. They all enjoyed that and remember it as fun. That was one trip that we did all truly enjoy ourselves. It challenged us individually and as a family to dare to try new things, to trust each other with the rope that supported us and to communicate with one another.
One of our kids also remembers a canoe trip that we took with friends. We stopped and swam at a remote spring and just enjoyed our paddle trip along the river. Our campsite provided for some campfire stories and laughs. One of them recalled it as a fun, relaxing weekend.
So, when you are outdoors trying to enjoy an adventure with your kids, remember that if they are acting like it is no fun and they are not enjoying it…that deep down they will remember these outdoor times and have fond memories of it. So don’t be so worried about if everyone is having fun every minute of the trip, just enjoy the outdoors.
Don’t try to plan everything and expect it all to be perfect for everyone all the time.
Go with the flow, relax and enjoy life’s simple things together!
Family time together is what makes memories for them!