Let Their Confidence Shine
Building Confidence and Self-Esteem
I’m a mom. and like moms everywhere, I want to build confidence into my kids. I desire that they go to school feeling great about themselves and their abilities.
We’ve found that in our family, we can build confidence and self-esteem in our kids be doing something that all of us enjoy, hiking.
Hiking is a more challenging form of going for a walk. A hike is often longer, more remote and offers more challenges than a simple walk around the block. But, it also offers rewards as well!
- Make it a family affair. When we go for most of our hikes, we try to make sure they are appropriate for all of our kids, from the two year-olds on up to the 16 year-old. A good rule of thumb is that most younger kids can handle a slow hike of up to a mile per their age. So, the two year old can handle an easy 2 mile hike. The teens can handle much longer! (We also take the older kids on their own, longer, more challenging hikes when on vacation.
- Make it fun. We usually come up with a list of things for kids to look for while out on our hike. Some things are easy and obvious, like trees, or ferns, or exposed roots, but some may be harder to find; like a deer or a hidden stream or a boulder. We are also known to sing along the way, and make up funny stories and legends.
- Everyone participates. Little kids feel really good about themselves when they finish something difficult, such as a challenging hike. Let the little ones climb the 198 stairs leading up from Devil’s Kettle Falls. Let the big kids group up and hike ahead and conquer a more challenging side hike.
- Talk about it. Once the hike is over, the water drunk, and the granola bars crunched, sit down and talk about the hike (we often do this in the car on the way home). Ask questions like: What was the hardest part? How did you overcome the obstacles? How did finishing an x mile hike make you feel? What was your favorite part? When we hike this trail again what will you do differently?