Doing it together…

Here’s an open invitation for all dads (and mums)…

How would you like to spend true quality time with your little ones… shared time in nature,  the change to experience a grand adventure and pass on some invaluable life skills?

We all get sucked up by our day to day lives. In every short 24-hours, we need to squeeze in work, family, friend and community commitments, the daily commute or school runs, personal time and quality sleep. It’s a constant juggling act and whilst all the balls remain in the air, we still need to raise our kids in the best way we can. Give them the love they need, the attention they deserve and the life lessons to help them survive and thrive.

Thanks to my being self-employed, I probably see my two boys (6 & 8 years old) more than the average dad but still, I don’t always succeed in giving them my sole focus. The perks of doing my own thing also mean I’m often immersed in plotting and planning, scheduling or scribbling, which is just how this post started. So what I propose to all you parents is to go on mini adventures with your kids.

I’ve been enjoying one-on-one camping trips with my boys, separate trips with each one. They pack their little backpack with ‘their stuff’ and I carry all the gear for an overnight trip in the mountains. We keep it simple with nothing but the essentials; tent, mats, sleeping bags, stove and food, teddy bears and a game to play (cards, memory or whatever they like). It’s not about what we bring but what we do with out time together. We hike for about 45 minutes (or as far as a little pair of legs can go) to escape the beaten track then find a good camping spot and set up together. Often my boys go off and explore on their own. My oldest, in particular, feels so free in the wild. We find wood for a little campfire, light it with a fire striker (a great lesson in learn, thanks to the skill and patience required) and we simply enjoy what nature has to offer. We ‘cook’ a basic expedition meal which we share… one bag and two spoons. We chat. We climb a little summit. We laugh. We hang out. It’s rustic and simple yet invaluable and something I and they have come to really appreciate. We film our episodes together, which I then edit. They’ll be a source of wonderful memories one day.

Fellow dads and mums, I urge you to give this a go. You won’t regret it. You won’t be disappointed. Don’t focus on the obstacles but on the fun you’ll have and the memories you’ll make. Your adventure doesn’t need to be fancy or far fetched. All your kids need is your time… undivided and unconditional… and that’s something we can all give.

Stuff to bear in mind…

  • The timing will never be ideal so give up searching for the perfect opportunity. This is important and should take priority over other life commitments. I’ve even taken my kids out of school for our adventures.
  • Plan your trip as close to nature as possible. Even if you live in a concrete jungle… even more so if you live in a concrete jungle. Nature is never all that far away. Having said that, plan what will work for you. Even a rough night sleeping in the car works!
  • Borrow the stuff you need so you don’t have to buy new kit.
  • An overnight trip makes it extra special.
  • No screens!
  • We’re a boys only household, asides Kiki of course, but I’d do the same with girls. Why not?
  • After your adventure, talk about it, share your stories, videos and photo’s. Invite other parents to do the same.

Feel free to reach out if I can help you in planning your own…