How to stop being a helicopter parent on the trail and in life
Give Them Time
Do you remember being a kid and excited about the little things? Do you remember walking to school and balancing on the curb the entire way? The rule, the first one to fall in the lava is out. Maybe the next day we would walk backward the entire way, or only be allowed to take two steps per square
Years ago when my son entered Kindergarten, we walked him to and from daily. I found myself in a hurry to get where we were going. At the time this was just a task that needed to be completed, always something on my mental to-do list. Then, one day I read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Dig This Chick and it hit me, right where the mom guilt hits.
I was rushing him, I was taking the simple fun from him by hurrying him unnecessarily. Did I REALLY need to get home to those dishes or could I spare the 5-10 extra minutes to allow him to balance on the curb or kick up leaves with each step?
I realized I could be using these moments to connect. It doesn’t have have to be big and momentous but you never know what little things might end up being some of their most cherished moments.
Let them lead at their pace
Now whenever possible, I let them go at their own pace. We hiked down to the Puget Sound last weekend. It’s a hike we have done before, we love it, the perfect distance. My favorite part, is hiking at their pace.
I love to see the excitement in my 5 year old daughters eyes as she finds “the biggest leaf ever!” or hear the excitement in her voice as she realizes she can hear the creek trickling or tree frogs croaking.
Things we make take for granted may be the highlight of their day. Usually, it ends up being the highlight of mine. So, whenever possible, let them inspect the rocks or pick dandelions, or throw rock in the pond. Give them time.