Character, confidence and self-esteem are what we all want for all our kids. But I bet you didn’t think that rock climbing could be a key. Our guest blogger today, Jess Spate, is a former climbing instructor and a dedicated outdoor enthusiast. She knows what rock climbing can do for kids. Maybe she’ll convince you to put your kids on the wall.
What Physical Activity Suits Your Child?
Every parent wants their children to be fit and active but team sports aren't for everyone. Some kids love football, basketball, and baseball and others don't- sometimes it's very easy for less confident kids to feel out of place or pressured on sports teams. However, that doesn't mean they can't find a physical activity that suits them.
Why You Might Consider Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Most major cities now have at least one climbing gym, and some have a dozen or more. Almost all welcome kids as young as five and offer expert instruction to beginners. Despite being a little scary at first, indoor climbing is actually a very safe sport. There is always a rope ready to support a beginner climber. They're incredibly strong (you could suspend a small car with a standard 10mm climbing rope) and a little bit stretchy so even the tiniest fall is cushioned.
How Rock Climbing Brings a Sense of Achievement
Indoor climbing can be more than just a healthy workout. When you start out, the improvement rate is terrific. But the end of their first session almost all beginners start to see that they are capable of things that seemed impossible just a couple of hours ago. Every climb brings a sense of achievement even if you only got a little higher than you did last time.
How Instructors Deal with Nervous Kids
Most qualified indoor climbing instructors are well used to dealing with nervous children (and nervous adults!). They won't pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do. Instead, you'll start off easy and low, and gradually expand your comfort zone.
How Beginner Rock Climbing Parents Encourage Their Children
Being afraid is part of the package but it's not such a bad thing. In fact, climbing with your kids gives you the chance to provide a fantastic example. They'll see that you're nervous but having a go anyway. If you can laugh at yourself when you don't succeed, have a rest, and try again, you'll be showing them something incredibly important.
How the Family Encourages Character, Confidence, and Self-Esteem
Climbing is also a great activity for families with kids of different ages. It's cool enough to get any teenager interested, and while one person climbs the rest of the family can encourage them on. For the young and shy there is nothing quite encouragement from older brothers and sisters, and it never takes long for the cheering to start in a family group. Older kids will see that doing things with their little siblings can be really exciting.
Let's give a BIG HAND to Jesse Spate for her great post. She writes for Appalachian Outdoors when not climbing either indoors or outside on real rock.
Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:
What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids? Please answer in the comment link below.
With warm wishes,
Jean Tracy, MSS
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