5 Kid Objections and the Responses to Conquer the Anti-hike Glums
I posted an article from Healthy Hikes about finding the inspiration to hike when you don’t feel like it. A friend brought up a really good point about getting outdoors with her own children–maybe you’ve heard this before:
“I like to hike. My kids don’t.”
This really stuck in my head today and I started thinking of a time where my kids may not have been as excited about getting outside. There are those glaring moments when our big kids would rather spend their weekend playing Minecraft or video games–each time leading to a push and pull all the way up until we leave the house. Here are 5 dilemmas that every parent has faced when trying to get their kids outdoors and ways to help curb that negativity.
- “I don’t want to go on a hike today.” This is probably the most popular objection parents get hit with pre-hike. It’s not that the weather is not permitting, it’s that they’re not excited about it–yet. Bring up some features of the hike that stand out like waterfalls, rock climbing, or seasonal favorites like wildflowers and mud. If it’s something they’ve never done before, the intrigue alone will be enough by the time you get to your destination.
- “None of my friends go on hikes.” Great! Then you’ll have an awesome adventure to share. If your kids are anything like ours, they may have a smart phone and the best Instagrams and posts that I’ve seen from them are from capturing moments on our hikes. Or you could recommend they invite their friend to join the next time you go hiking and you’ll be playing catch up with their mom and dad (aka adults!) if they decide they want to come too–so it’s a win-win for you and your partner as well.
- “We’ve already done this hike.” Followed by whining…One of the things I can appreciate about being outdoors is even if you’ve done a hike 3 times before there is always a place you’ve never explored. Reiterate that there are trails you haven’t been on before or a special place you want to check out. Don’t make promises but explain to them if you get out early enough you might see some animals on the trail.
- “I don’t feel like getting dressed.” This may seem like a weird one, but we’ve actually heard this one before. Hiking attire can get complicated and sometimes kids can lack the patience to unlace shoelaces and put on layers of clothing. We have tons of pairs of wool socks and hiking boots and sweaters and water bottles to pack up each time we go hiking. Sometimes we ask that the kids lay out their outfits and gear the night before to save time and complaining. I even pack our snacks ahead of time and take out the water bottles that people need before they ask. Preparation is key!
- “But, why do we have to go?” Because we said so. No, but really–how much does this phrase just dig into you as a human parent? Do bears have to go through this? Probably not. Cos if their bear cub tried to get sassy and eat their momma bears’ fish, that momma bear is gonna put the paw down. Worse case scenario and you’ve run out of responses, is to use some good old-fashioned incentives. Our favorites are bringing treats on the trail as a surprise or bringing up their favorite foods and offering them as the post-hike reward.
We’ve all gone through these instances and some are more prevalent than others. The truth is no matter how outdoorsy we say we are when there are kids, there’s always challenges to get through. Hopefully, these responses will lessen the anti-hike glums and instead enhance the amazing experiences you’ll have as a family in nature.
Do you have objections to hiking that you’ve experienced with your kids? What works, or doesn’t work? Share them in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, be sure to subscribe to our blog via email.