Since I was a child growing up in Michigan, with woods behind my house, I have felt calmed and renewed hiking amongst the trees. The woods were my playground full of wild orchids and ferns. My husband, Bill, loves hiking as well, so this was a natural outing to do with our daughter.
Jen hated hiking. She was bored and would whine about going and ask, “Are we done yet?” Her lack of appreciation for the beauty of nature could have made the trip miserable and I could have given up and not taken her along which translates into not hiking at all.
I was determined that she would experience how rejuvenating and crucial it is to connect with nature on a regular basis. I had to find a way that was meaningful for her. So, we made Jen the tour guide on the path. She would lead the way and point out interesting trees, flowers and birds. She enjoyed this position of power and authority and we did, too. She no longer whined or complained and instead saw nature through her eyes, rather than ours. We became her ally in the woods, rather than her controlling adversary. This picture is of Jen and me.
Now, Jen enjoys hiking and even camping with her boyfriend. I am so pleased that she has developed a love of nature and invites us to hike in the Concord area where she lives. I don’t believe she would have developed this love if we had forced her to hike as a child. So, if you are struggling with getting your child outside with you, think of who they are, what they value, and how an outdoor activity with you can be enjoyable. Don’t give up!
Thornwood Open Space is a great place in the Woodside area with redwood trees when you enter from Old LaHonda Road and deciduous trees and bunnies closer to Woodside Road. Bill and I hike from the Old LaHonda road entrance, because I LOVE redwoods, at least once a month. In the winter, there is a rushing creek. Here is their website.
©2017 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, private parenting coaching sessions, and her book, Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. She works with parents of 5 – 25 year-old children.
To learn how Cynthia can help you solve your specific challenges, contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 650. 679.8138 to have a complementary 45-minute discovery session. Why keep suffering? It’s time to change!