When parents take their kids out hiking it can be a lot of fun or it can be challenging. Oftentimes the difference between a great day in the Rocky Mountains and an unpleasant one simply rests with the parent’s attitude.
When you go for a hike in the mountains you never know exactly what is going to happen. You never know if it is going to stay sunny or if suddenly a thunder storm will come out of the skies to get you wet and scared. You never know if this is going to be the day that your youngest child decides that they are too tired to walk ten feet without complaining, or that your oldest child decides to be grouchy and argue with everyone about everything.
As a parent there is so much that is beyond your control when it comes to going for a hike with your family. There is only so much that you can do – picking a hike that everyone in the family should be able to accomplish; packing the bag with snacks, jackets, and water; and giving everyone a good, healthy breakfast before hitting the trail.
Unfortunately, ultimately you just never know what is going to happen, which makes a day hiking in the mountains with your family an adventure.
The single most important thing that parents can do in order to have a fun hike with their children is to have and maintain a good, positive attitude.
Your children will pick up on your attitude and feelings and then they will get those same feelings and reflect them. This means it is crucial that you as a parent always maintain a good, positive attitude.
It is easy to have a good attitude when you are just beginning the hike and everyone is feeling fresh. But, it is much harder and much more important when you have been hiking for a bit and people are feeling tired or when it begins to rain and everyone is starting to get cold. Those are the times that will determine if you and your family are going to have a fun adventure or if you are all going to be unhappy.
Even if you are feeling cold, tired, and wet, as a parent you need to keep a good attitude. You need to show your children that even when things don’t work out as you intended it can still be fun. Even when your legs are tired and sore and you, yourself, want to stop and are ready to be done hiking, you have to keep up your good attitude.
A good attitude from the parents will help the kids feel a little bit better and will help you all enjoy your hike more. Then at the end of the day you can laugh with your kids about how wet you all were on the hike as you sip your hot chocolate.