5 Benefits of Getting Out And Exploring With Your Kids
Living a life of adventure is something we should all strive for, but I often get asked why I take backpacking and hiking trips and my first response is always, “I want my daughter to appreciate and enjoy the wild when she gets older.” I quickly realized she doesn’t have to be older for her to start learning how to appreciate nature. There is no better time than the present and with a little research and planning you can pack your bags and show your children a whole new world outside of the Ipad and television. Here are 5 benefits of getting out and exploring with your kids:
I will never forget the first time I took my 3 year old daughter on a hiking day trip. She is normally very relaxed and she often wants me to hold her or show her how to do things; but once we hit the trail she suddenly became very courageous, adventurous, and somewhat independent. We stumbled upon a small cave and she urged me to come look at it with her, before I knew it, we were both crawling in the cave and enjoying the view of a beautiful waterfall on the other side. Kids are very perceptive to their surroundings, and being outside will bring out a side of them that no other environment is able to do. It also teaches them how to enjoy themselves without a piece of technology in front of them. Being in the wilderness allows us to unplug and teaches our children to be brave, adventurous, and to unwind in a healthy way.
We live in a world with constant stimulation, and if you aren’t stimulated it takes zero effort to change the channel or look at a different website; obviously our children are conditioned the same way. Taking your child outside will teach them how to appreciate the little things. I asked my daughter to point out the things she thought were beautiful on our recent hike and I was amazed at how often we would stop to look at a flower, enjoy a scenic spot, count bugs, or just throw some rocks. Taking your child outside teaches them to appreciate what they have.
If we don’t show our children how to appreciate nature and the outdoors, who will? I was amazed at how quick my 3-year-old started saying “daddy I want to go on an adventure.” Kids learn their habits from their parents and I want my child to learn how to unplug and how to seek adventure. My daughter trusts me and looks to me for guidance and direction on all of our hikes. It’s a bond that can only be created and strengthened by being in nature. She is willing to take risks because she knows her dad is there for her.
I’m not one to just run into unknown territory and I definitely don’t want to do this with my 3-year-old by my side. Knowing I want to get outside with my daughter has motivated me to check out new places by myself or with friends. I have a running list of several places I want to experience with my daughter, but I always give these spots a trial run before I bring her along. I also don’t want my daughter to ever see me as being inexperienced or unsure of what we are doing. Additionally, it will motivate you to hone your skills. I look forward to the day were we have some broken gear or we forget to pack something and my daughter looks at me to fix it. I am motivated to learn all of these things now so she knows daddy will take care of it.
Time is temporary and most people want to spend their time doing the things they love with the people they love, but unfortunately life happens; bills, deadlines, other commitments. I hope our adventures will inspire other parents and families to pursue their dreams and goals with their children and loved ones. She is only a child for so long and I want her memories to be of the trail we hiked, the mountain we climbed, or that perfect campsite we found. I can only hope when my daughter gets older and has children of her own she will want to experience the outdoors with her kids. My ultimate goal is when my daughter has her own family she answers the question “mom, where did you learn that?” by saying “my dad taught me!”
Once you have children you will always be a parent, but the time you get to spend with your kid is limited. I know I will wake up one day and my little girl will have a life of her own and that is why I try to take advantage of every opportunity to get outside with her now.
DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE? SEND US AN EMAIL, AND SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA USING #THEMODERNDAYEXPLORER
About The Author
Kevin Abernethy is a native of Oklahoma and enjoys spending his free time doing anything that allows him to be outdoors. Kevin's motto is "time is free, but it's priceless" so he tries to spend his time doing the things he loves with the people he loves. To see some of Kevin's adventures you can visit his Instagram.