|My husband and four-year-old daughter discuss life after going for a dip in Barton Creek.|
I am guilty of a secret, no-good, parenting conspiracy.
I’m taking my younger kids hiking now, when they are young. They are just two and three years old.
I’m doing it now, before they have any opinion about it and before they know about other options.
I’m doing it now, while I’m still the best MOM in the whole WORLD and I know EVERYTHING.
When they are older, I want playing outside and enjoying nature to be normal and everyday. It’s just what you do, like taking a bath and wearing clothes.
It’s a secret, no-good parenting conspiracy, to start them while they are young and so impressionable.
But I don’t feel too bad about it because they love to go.
We call any group of five trees or more a forest and we see all sorts of animals like turtles, fish and snakes. We walk on top of boulders (holding hands) and wade in the water (still holding hands!). Then we find a rock, big and flat like a table, and we sit down to enjoy fruit snacks and sippy cups of cold water.
And I don’t feel too bad because my intentions are good.
I want them to feel a connection with nature. I want them to have healthy activities that they like to do that will mean less watching TV and playing video games when they are older. I want them to notice pretty things, like a beautiful flower or a setting sun.
So, maybe it is a secret parenting conspiracy, but it is one of the good kind. (And it’s free.)
That is my story and I’m sticking too it, the next time I take my little kids on a hike.
Carol Ramsey lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three girls, fourteen, three and two-years-old. She is a software project manager and she blogs at Growing Up Austin. She also provides parent-friendly information about kid-friendly hikes in Austin, Texas at Little Kids Hike.