A saying has been coming to me lately, and I never gave it much thought until I had a child who loves the outdoors. "Don't cut your nose to spite your face." This a simple saying, but with so much meaning. What does it have to do with raising a child in the outdoors?
Occasionally, when I talk to other parents who have children and want them to be more involved in the outdoors. The first question I ask is how much they take their children with them. The answer is usually sometimes or not that often. My response is usually the same, "How do you expect them to be involved if you don't take them?" Similar to the situation when you give your child food they never ate before. They immediately revolt with " I don't like this." Just like the child ask them why and they return the same puzzled look.
It is not lost on me how hard it is to take a child out hunting or fishing and try to partake yourself. Between you untangling their pole to the constant telling them to be quiet, it takes away from your experience, right? The answer to that question is not any clearer than their understanding of sitting still.
As a parent, I understand the need to break away from your child and have your solitude in nature. Ultimately, this is a double-edged sword because though you may not take them, this one time. This one time turns into two, three, then you hardly take them at all. We need to understand as parents that even though being outdoors may seem insignificant to us. To a child, every fork in the path or critter in the woods is a new adventure.
" Don't cut your nose to spite your face." A simple saying that carries so much truth when talking about children in nature. Us not taking our children outdoors is this very saying. We are cutting their experience to bring more enjoyment to ours. The excitement that they also have in nature will turn to other items more available to them. Eventually, the outdoors will be aforethought. Now is the time to take your children outdoors even though they are at a young age that they are a bit of a whirlwind to contain. Right now is the most impressionable time in theirs. "Don't cut your nose to spite your face." don't rob them of the experience because you value yours more. Eventually, the experience will no longer exist.