How mud and bubbles saved my life.

Last fall my son decided he didn't want to go hiking anymore. We were living in the mountains and I couldn't get my son to go hiking. I was miserable.

Every time I would try to take the kids hiking he would pitch a fit. I brought candy; he still didn't want to hike. I threatened to take away a toy; it didn't make a difference. Finally I found a few things that got him to go hiking again.
  1. Mud. All I had to do was ask him if he wanted to go find mud and he was ready. 
  2. Bubbles. In my experience, most kids love bubbles. For now, the only place we play with bubbles in on the trail. 
I suspect these aren't new suggestions. And for me the real lesson is much more simple...

Design outdoor activities around what already interests your child.

Duh. I think I was assuming my son would love hiking for same reasons I do, just being outside and in nature. He does like hiking but still needs a little extra stimulation. Our hikes aren't perfect and I still have to work to keep my son excited, but at least we are hiking.

Need some more ideas on getting kids excited about outdoor activities? Check out these blog posts.

Honestly, my son tends to not want to do anything I want him to do. Do you have any children like that? Here are a few resources that have helped me manage power struggles.
  1. Positive Discipline by Dr. Jane Nelson
  2. Raising your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  3. Empowering Parents website
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