As parents, we often underestimate our influence in building stable, capable, happy children and teens.…
Hiking with tweens and teens
Yes, you have taken up the dreaded task!!! Fret not, you still will be the role model by the end of it. Hiking is the best way to introduce outdoor cardio to the well-needed body and push to some real-life endurance.
As individuals, we all agree the best of cardio is while hiking. The adventure spirit that the hiking trips bring to the young minds cannot replace most of the routine activities.
The conflict of taking tween and teens on a hiking trip is primarily the fact that, being with the parent is not cool. We really cannot send them off on their own as they are quite young to take the responsibility of the hike. Yet hiking is one of the best ways to teach your teen to take responsibility and listen to nature.
Choice of location.
Choose an exciting location where you know the endpoint has some tangible substance. Don’t be surprised by the real sour-faced you have to battle of you pick a location which culminates just in a misty mountain view. Pick one with lighthouses, some exploration wind down or some water to ease out.
Please don’t be that trail guide who will have everything marked out, ask your teen for ideas, plan out details, packing. This keeps them aware of the needs and acts appropriately when needed
Hydration – safety first.
Whatever the case may be, the first rule I insist on is having enough hydration. This is one of the necessities to be instilled right from the start. A brief run through with the safety procedures right before you embark is the best though it may not sink in right away. Repeated trips will get it to stay in.
No gadget time – be prepared.
Here is the second rule that I insist on when I take the teen on a hike, no earphones, take a break from the music too. Have your phone, but that’s just for the navigation app. We have had to tackle a few times of sulks and sour faces, but hold on to your rules. You will slowly get positivity.
What is better than a teen – two teens of course!!
The most discussed issue among parents about teens is the lack of communication. Once the teen is familiar with a few hiking trips, its best to get an adventurous buddy to go along. This instantly makes up for the no wire rule you have put down. It is one which improves chances of some real-time communication, but please don’t get a buddy where you are trying to bridge the gap… It worsens the problem.
How fast and how far?
It is clear that the teens will quickly out walk you on the trail. Teach them to be at a distance you can see. This is important for both your safety. This will slowly cultivate a consistent walking pace too. So take your tween or teen on routes very familiar to you on initial trips. If along the way they decide the creek is all that they like to get to… Don’t push it. It is not the completion that’s important, but the time and the spirit to start again another time.
Don’t hang on there expecting the Thank you!!
Your young man or woman is not going to thank you right away or in any manner, you are expecting. But if they will join the packing and the prepping for subsequent sessions, you know you have done well.
Teens and tweens are still children and reminding ourselves that we all have a kid in us is the best way to bond better. Hiking together, the adrenaline thrill and the reward of being outdoor together brings the family bonds together. Try a few times, don’t give up so easily. You want to be that mentor your kid looks up to. You have got it right now. So, plan up one this weekend and enjoy the great outdoors.
Article provide by Seema Doraiswamy Sriram.
Seema is a blogger and avid traveller, who loves travelling with her children. Currently residing at the northern beaches, she blogs at https://mildlyindian.com/ and can be followed at the same tag on the social media portals.