Going on an adventure is not only fun and memorable, adventures also have huge potential to grow kids’ resilience and self-confidence. There’s nothing like trying something new to push us out of our comfort zones – again, both the kids and the grown-ups! I’ve got a real problem with hydroslides. They’re ghastly. BUT, I know that by facing my fear and having a go, I’m doing some important role-modelling for my kids. Plus, they’ll actually have even more fun on the slide if I join them.
Holidays present wonderful opportunities for adventure. You don’t have to bungee jump, and you don’t have to spend exorbitant money on the latest adrenaline buzz, but try and find at least one activity that pushes everyone just that little bit. Caving, rock climbing, treetop walks, mountain climbing, midwinter swims, hydroslides, luging (yes, also terrifying for some people!) – all great ways to get brave together as a family.
Holidays also offer plenty of opportunities to engage with new people, which for some kids can be a massive challenge to comfort zones. You could encourage your shy kids to order food and drinks for the family at a cafe, or to ask for what they need or would like when presented with options. Everyone can come home from a holiday with a little more resilience in the tank.
It’s been a big year (so far!), with everyone facing stress in some shape or form. If you can carve out some time for a holiday, there are a long list of potential benefits for the whole family. Whether you pop down-country to stay with the cousins, or go inter-island for to visit someplace new, you’ll also be doing New Zealand a favour – appreciating our amazing country and injecting a bit of much-needed cash into local economies, while having some fun at the same time.