Parents Need to Make Getting Outdoors a Habit!

dog 3As a dog I spend a lot of my time outside, walking around, and sniffling different scents.  I also have to go outside when I need to go to the bathroom.  This means that luckily for me it is a habit and necessity for me to get outside.

However, I realize that for many people, including parents and their children, getting and spending time outside is not a habit.  It is something that they do only to get from their house to their car or maybe they will go outside to go for a jog.  That is good, but that is not the same as spending time outside wandering and exploring the Rocky Mountains.

neighborhood park

The neighborhood park…the outdoors and the natural world.

It is important for kids to get outside as often as possible to simply explore and play – and that means it is vital that parents make a habit and a priority to spend time outside with their kids.

Spending time outside should be a habit for everyone.  It is good to just relax, and soak in the natural world.  It is good to slow down and look closely at the bugs you can find crawling around the yard.  It is good to reconnect with the natural world.  It is important for parents and children to reconnect with the natural world.  It is good for your soul and well-being to force yourself to slow down and spent time outside.

This could start out as simply wandering around in your yard or the local park.  Then maybe once a week you could take an outing to the local mountains.

For some people this habit may be easy, but for others this could mean making a big change.  Change is not easy, but it can be done.  As we all know, old habits die hard and it is hard to make new habits.  Here are some suggestions to help parents make a habit of spending time outside for their kids sake:

  • Commit to making a habit of getting outside.  Make it a priority.
  • Preparation – look into where you could go outside.  Find local, nearby parks or open spaces.  Figure out the closest places you could go to be in the mountains – maybe to a trail, a picnic area, or to the river.  Look into any organizations that organize activities in the outdoors, such as fishing organizations or youth groups.
  • Take action – now that you have committed and done your planning it is time to take action.  Begin spending time outdoors.
  • Make small changes – maybe in the beginning you can focus on getting outside twice a week for a half hour.  Then after two weeks you can increase this to three times a week, then increase one of those times to an hour.
  • Reflection – every few weeks you should take a few minutes to think about how well you have been spending time outdoors.  Did everything work like you hoped?  Were there problems?  What was good or easy?  This is your chance to make changes to your plan so that getting outdoors truly becomes a habit.