Cycling, running, scuba diving, travel – New Age dads are bonding with their kids through adventure and a spirit of sportsmanship
Did your outdoor pursuits end after the kids arrived? By eliminating activity from your life after fatherhood, you are actually removing the factor most likely to spur you children to grow into healthy adults: you as an example or role model. A study by a non-profit organization found that 75 per cent of kids aged 6 to 12 years, who participate in adventure sports are simply copying their parents. This means your first act as a dad is to walk out of the front door!
No, not the way you think. We are talking adventure. Outdoors. Travel. Life lessons. “Our culture of convenience has come with a hefty price. Children are moving less, spending most of their sitting or lying down, giving raise to multiple mental, physical and social problems,” says clinical psychologist Dr Seema Hongorrany. That’s where some dads are coming handy.
When fathers spend a good amount of time doing a fun activity with their kids, they are able to draw common memories and experiences, pass a lifetime of learning they possess and set an example by being an active role model.
The trick is to get your child to balance academics with outdoor activities. Time spent outdoors help children reboot before getting back to the usual home-to-school routine. It encourages creativity and willingness to do well.
A recent study titled, Influence of parents’ Physical Activity Levels on Activity Levels of Young Children, found that children of active and energetic fathers are 3.5 times more active than children of inactive fathers.
Passing Essential Life Skills
Outdoor activities have much more to teach a child about what it means to live a wholesome life. According to family education study, the most influential factor in a child’s emotional health is how involved the father was in the child’s care when he was young. Children who have involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure, confident about exploring their physical surroundings, and have better social connections. “When a child is around a father who loves being outdoors, the child is likely to be a lot more empathetic. Moreover, it improves their resilience and helps them develop grit, tenacity, perseverance, fairness, integrity and responsibility. It rewires the brain for learning, helps build social intelligence and above all, introduces respect for limits and boundaries. Thus, activity is a matchless opportunity to connect with your children and teach them valuable life skills,” adds Hingorrany.
In a digital age, taking children outdoors and letting them learn from nature and their surroundings is not a choice but a necessity. That apart, nature outings and adventure let children become aware of nature and its beauty from an early age. Says Shah, “When the child is walking amid beautiful flora and fauna, they value the beauty of nature a lot more. Nature lets children deal with their fears in a healthy way.