Hiking trips begin at our house with me all, “Hey, kids! We’re going hiking! Come on! Get your stuff and load up!” and them all, “Unhhhhhh. Blahhhhh. Blurt. Bah. Do we have to? And also when will we be home?”
I see it as my job — as a caring, sensitive, loving mother — to ignore them all and make them go anyway. And at some point after we arrive, the whining trails off. And then everyone is dipping sticks in ponds, and watching bugs wander across the trail, and skipping rocks in creeks.
I don’t want to be unrealistic. Sometimes the complaining lasts a long time. Sometimes someone gets carsick or falls down or (once) needs stitches. But it’s worth the effort. Sometimes we have a golden afternoon of just enjoying each other. Singing belligerent songs about stinky skunks and burping (I figure the noise keeps wild animals at bay). And the times that don’t go well still make for excellent shared memories that you’ll find the kids remember years after you wish they’d forgotten.
And so — a few tips for hiking with your children:
This post is part of a series on connecting simply with your children. Nothing expensive. Nothing complicated. Simple. For more posts in the series, please click here.