Getting outside and having some good old fashioned outdoor fun as a family seems to be getting harder and harder as children everywhere are becoming glued to games consoles, kids TV and other indoor, solo activities. Now while I’m all for children being able to entertain themselves, plonking down in front of a video game for hours on end wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. So how do we get this generation of hermit like youngsters back outside and exploring the big bad world again?
Lead the Way
As a parent it is your responsibility to show your child how to interact with the world around them and this includes learning how to play outdoors and enjoy the outside world. If your child is not active, think about what has happened so far to allow this and what you need to change to ensure that your child becomes more active and more outdoorsy in the future.
Lead by Example
If you don’t spend any time outdoors then how do you think your child will react when you ask them to start doing so? Long gone are the days where simply responding with “Do as I say not as I do,” will suffice as a reasoning to a young person. So if you are a bit of a coach potato yourself recognise this and perhaps take up a joint hobby with your child or simply lead the way by getting stuck into something yourself.
Lead by Encouragement
Encourage your child to take up a sport that has an outdoor element to it such as hiking, climbing, or orienteering; perhaps these things could even lead to Duke of Edinburgh awards? If you are struggling to get your child motivated, turn to one of the “cooler” sports for inspiration; think scootering, skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a BMX. Google impressive looking video clips on youtube and share these with your child and once you have their interest keep it with regular lessons so they keep improving and quality equipment to support their development.
Lead by Participation
Springing up all over the country are a new breed of adventure playgrounds; ones where kids of all ages can join in and in fact parents are positively encouraged to lead the way by taking part and demonstrating safe and fun play to their youngsters. Participating in these situations yourself can encourage your youngster to take leaps of faith where he/she may not have before so lead the way and get outdoors today!
DISCLOSURE: This post was written in conjunction with Skate Hut.