One Poll conducted a May 2010 survey for Elastoplast UK, and found that 85% of children aged 6-12 year olds want more adventure in their lives. Furthermore, 85% of their parents believe adventure is an important part of their children’s lives. What’s the deal? While everyone thinks adventure is a great idea, it just doesn’t happen.
Over half of the children in the UK have never camped out. These shocking statistics are based on a poll of 1103 children and 1500 parents in the UK.
50% of children had never tried adventure sports.
41% of children had never participated in a scavenger hunting.
44% of parents were more active outside than their children as children.
38% of parents stated that they are more protective of their children than their parents.
40% of parents stated that they don’t have enough money or time to take their children on adventurous adventures.
Although it is difficult to determine how general such findings can be, this sample shows more than a hint at cotton wool parenting. So, should we bother? Is it really important if children don’t go on adventures?
We think so. It is hard to underestimate the value of outdoor adventures. It’s more than just having fun and building memories from childhood. Active adventures can bring about real developmental and health benefits, whether it’s building a treehouse, sitting outside to enjoy the stars, camping in your yard, or walking or biking around the local area. Children can be helped to take on risk and have confidence in their ability to handle it. Dr Mandy Bryon, a child psychologist from Great Ormond Street Hospital says that it helps children to be resilient and allows them to think for themselves. It’s hard to imagine a better world for children than that. Active adventure is a great way to help your children become independent, resilient and healthy.
It’s not only children who need to be able to safely adventure. Parents may also need these skills to have the confidence and ability to take on small family adventures, or give their children the skills they need to be safe out on their own.
While it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure their children’s safety it is also their responsibility to teach their children the skills and judgment they need to keep them safe in an emergency.
Are you a parent who has ever discussed with your children how to deal with dangers and assess them? It’s something that many parents don’t do. This is a great way to help your child develop their knowledge and confidence in handling different situations. Even young children can learn to remember basic information such as their phone number and address, and how to get help if needed. It doesn’t take a tornado, an accident, or for them to get lost in the woods before you can talk about how to handle it. You don’t have to know the right thing to do in every situation. All you need is to be able to figure out how to help your kids. Talk to your children about their interests, discuss what can go wrong, and talk about how to deal with it. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask for help or seek out advice from an experienced person. This is a great way to coach your children and boost their confidence in knowing what to do.
Children want more adventure. They want it. It is good for them. It’s important for parents to show them how to do it safely. Then let them go. Gradually!