How To Raise Adventurous Children

October 08, 2021 4 min read

You grew up with, "Go play outside," and, "Come home when the street lights come on." And if you're like the team at Tactical Baby Gear, you want to raise your kids with the same love for the outdoors and sense of adventure. It's a little harder today than it's been in the past - there's more entertainment inside and a greater awareness of the dangers outside - but an intentional approach to parenting can help you raise kids who are respectful, adventurous, curious problem-solvers. Here's what you can do to make it happen.

Dont Change Your Lifestyle

If your lifestyle is the other kind of wild, it's probably okay to make some changes when baby is born. But if your lifestyle consists of the great outdoors, keep doing all the things you did before with your little ones in tow. Introducing them to nature and the elements early is the first step to raising children who seek out new experiences and time outdoors. While it takes much more planning and work, you can camp, hike, bike, boat, ski, and more, even with very small children. They'll become much more tolerant of the elements, all of earth's creatures, and the hard work it takes to live a life of fun under the sun, moon, and stars.

Baby-Proof Your Home

Homes that are baby-proof allow for curiosity and exploration. When you know you've made your home a safe space for your infant or toddler, they can explore almost to their heart's content without fear of consequences. You don't have to say no more than you say yes, crush their inquisitive spirits, or try to rebuild their confidence after one too many injuries. Baby-proofing is important from just a few months of age through about the third year, and includes:

  • installing gates at the tops of stairways
  • keeping bathrooms locked or using kid-safe door knobs on bathroom doors
  • adjusting the settings on your hot water heater to avoid burns
  • installing window stops to prevent toddlers from opening and falling out of windows
  • ensuring any items small enough to fit through a toilet paper tube aren't within baby's reach
  • securing heavy furniture or objects to the wall to prevent tipping or falling
  • moving cleaning products to higher or locked cabinets
  • securing the cords of your blinds using safety brackets
  • following crib safety guidelines (no extra blankets or bumpers and adjust the height at the appropriate times)
  • inserting tight-fitting electrical covers into all outlets
  • using 'corner bumpers' to soften the sharp corners of furniture in case of falls

As a basic rule of thumb, a safe home is one small children can run, play, and explore in - fostering their love of adventure later.

Foster Curiosity

Helicopter parenting can stifle adventurousness and curiosity. Instead, let your kids touch the vegetables in the grocery store, run across the playground, and splash in the water at the beach. It's important to give them the freedom to taste, touch, see, and smell the things that interest them whenever humanly possible to encourage them to examine the world around them.

Do say no when your child really can get hurt, but don't say no to avoid inconvenience, a bump or scrape, or having to chase after your little one. They need you to encourage their inquisitive nature.

Dont Coddle Them

While it might feel tempting to protect your child from every challenging emotion they can feel, it's important to expose them to new (and even scary) things to help them develop courage and bravery - both integral to an adventurous spirit! You can't hike Glacier National Park if you're deathly afraid of a bear encounter or skydive if you fear all the things that can go wrong. Introducing your children - safely - to things outside of their comfort zone can help them get comfortable doing wild and exciting things. Mountain climbing, whitewater rafting, hiking, traveling, and tent camping all require some exposure to scary things that can be perfectly safe with adequate training and preparation.

Don't Put "Adventure" in a Box

Every child is different. Perhaps you dreamed of having a little mountain biker or survivalist to join you on your adventures but ended up having a child who is adventurous in a music, drama, or science-fair sort of way. Celebrate that sense of adventure, too! Remember that every time your child goes out of their comfort zone to do something they're afraid to do they become a better version of themselves. They start to learn that they have no limits. And every time you celebrate it, you reinforce that belief system and serve as the foundation for a life full of hard and rewarding things.

Build it Up Gradually

Adventuring with a little one can be overwhelming for all of you. Heading out on a 90-degree day with a 3-month-old baby and expecting to complete a 20-mile hike can break your spirit, for example. Instead, start small by taking them on a nearby hiking trail in moderate weather at first and work your way up. When that goes well, go on a longer hike. Spend time in the snow before you buy all-day lift passes. Try kayaking near the shore before you set out to reach the other side of the lake and pitch a tent. Try backyard camping before wilderness camping (it's a great way to make sure you have the right supplies on hand). These exercises help your little one build tolerance and resilience, and they help you begin to understand what preparedness really looks like now that you have a tiny partner to accommodate.

Pack Right

Regular diaper bags are hardly conducive to hiking, biking, skiing, and the like, but having the right supplies nearby is critical for a successful adventure. Tactical Baby Gear's products are hardcore, just like you, designed specifically for Dads looking for durable construction and practical functionality in all settings and all elements.Choose from a wide variety of bags, strollers, wagons, and baby carriers to build your arsenal of adventurous Dad gear today at Tactical Baby Gear.

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