I’ve always been an outdoorsy, adventurous person. My parents weren’t overly adventurous but they did expose me enough to make me understand and feel that exploring made me truly happy. I’m now passing on the baton shall we say.
All parents and parenting styles are different, and really it’s a mixture of own experience, desires, missed opportunities, interests and current opportunities.
I try to get my boy, now six, outside as much as possible. Not because that’s what boys do (I mean this is 2019, girls are equally a part of this concept) but because I ask him what he’d like to do and he, for the most part, tells me he wants to climb Arthur seat. And why the hell should I stop that?!
Now, personally, it’s a bit of a ball ache. I don’t drive and it’s too far to walk there, and of course it’s a logistical nightmare when a six year old accompanies you. But I make it work and I am really organised. It begins with preparing my son to give him expectations. We talk about how long it will take, what to bring with us for entertainment on the bus, for when we arrive at the summit, for going home. That makes the journey much less dramatic. I ensure he’s part of the gear and clothing preparation, like all expeditions, you prepare, prepare, prepare. I feel it’s part of the excitement and definitely giving him responsibility.
Arthur seat to my boy is like his Everest. He sees it as one of the biggest places known to man. I love that perspective of a six year old and I nurture that as much as I can. I’ve been told that I should take my boy to the cinema and bowling and I do give him that chance to choose, but I’m sorry judgemental parents, he chooses this.
On our trip this time round he asked if he could watch the sun rise. It took more prep but he was so excited. We trekked with head-torches on and walking sticks to help his balance. We summited right on time. What was amazing was the other people who were there were so so positive of his arrival. I’m sure it’s not often you see a small person on the top of Arthur seat, geared up at 7am. He got a lot of praise, and you can’t imagine how that boosted his confidence. He felt like a winner.
Of course, as the mother in this scenario, I loved and will cherish the fact that i spent time with my boy with no distractions, no people, no toys or pets - just us and one boys mission to reach the top. It felt inspiring to lead him to achieve something and the sun hasn’t even risen in that morning yet. I also wanted to show my boy that I’m not going to say no to his desires and I will endeavour to push him to the top and explore more.
Let’s inspire our children to get outdoors more. Let’s discover that we enjoy our time without all the technological distractions. Let’s never stop exploring.
Thanks for reading.