Monday, October 3, 2011

Cultivating an Adventurous Spirit in your Kids

As most of you might know, we have arrived in France safe and sound and are trying to make the adjustments needed to feel more at home here.  I have been watching my kids to see how they adjust, espcially Tae because he is more aware of our situation, and honestly they have done quite well.  Tae is already trying his French on our neighbors even though all he remembers from last year is bonjour, ├ža va and au revoir.

It got me thinking, why is Tae adjusting so well?  Besides me being super mom, of course (HA HA), what helps Tae through our crazy life changes.  He has people back home that he loves to death and misses like crazy and yet, he is happy here.  He still misses them and talks about them, but he is excited to be here.  So how do you cultivate an adventurous spirit in your kids?

Here's what I got for ya:

1.) Travel.  I know that not everyone can travel internationally (we most definitely wouldn't be if it weren't for Lavar's job), but try to think outside of the box.  Do you live close to a major city? Travel to a more intercultural section and try to experience that.  Taste their food, try their language and really try to experience it. If you don't have this opportunity and can't travel, bring it to you!  Pick a day once a month and decide on a culture to experience and have a day of that culture.  It might help broaden your world a bit too!

Train Station in LA
2.) Stretch yourself.  I know a lot people like their little bubbles.  Trust me, I know those people.  The ones that feel sorry for me and my life.  But there is a whole world out there to experience and even if you don't want to experience it, you don't want your kids to be ignorant of it.  Try to stretch what would be comfortable for you to show your kids a little more of the world.
Train Station in LA
3.) Try new things.  You don't have to travel at all for this one!  You can camp in your backyard, try a new resaurant, make a new style of food.  Present it to your kids in a positive, fun way and make it exciting for them and they might be interested in trying it too!
Beach camping
4.) Be Creative.  Let your kids choose something to do.  It might be something you've never thought of but a fun adventure.  Do something you've never done or if you've done it, put a new spin on it.  Google some ideas you might want to try or cheap/free things to do in your area.  Then do it your way.
airport in Madrid
5.) Be Spontaneous.  Surprise your kids after school with a fun, new activity.  Or surprise them on a Friday afternoon by pulling them out of school early and whisking them away to beach camp for the weekend.  Or just go for ice cream, whatever works for your family.  Make it fun!

6.)  Make your own adventures.  For our family, we have a pretty adventurous life which already helps cultivate Tae's (and hopefully Eli's) adventurous spirit.  Some things might be a little too much for your family or you might find that there are some things you want to work towards and that's okay.  Do what works for you.

7.) Have a fun, adventurous attitude.  Kids feed off of what we give them.  If you try to create an adventure but you are not into it or don't want to do it, you're kids will know.  And this kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?  Like #6, if it is within what works for you and your family, hopefully you will have a fun, exciting attitude towards it and your kids will too.

So, how do you try to cultivate an adventurous spirit in your kids?  How do you present the world to them?  And coming from a family of experiencing three cultures daily, I hope it's with an open, loving mind!


Ashley @ LaLuce said...

this is so good on so many levels. seriously natalia. i love it. i let all of that seep into my heart so that it'll resurface one random day when i pick up my kiddos and do something fun ;) LOVE YOU.

XLMIC said...

So funny and so true! My oldest is the least adventurous of all my kids. We do all of those things on your list. He is still introverted, resistant to change, hates spontaneity... but he does love to travel. I think to some extent an adventurous spirit comes from within. True, it can be cultivated. But some are much slower to blossom :)

Grammy Goodwill said...

Natalia, you're such a good mama. You've written some great ideas for other parents to try. My kids didn't get to travel overseas until college, but I like to think they have adventurous souls and are adaptable, too. I tried to teach them to make their own fun and to talk to everybody they meet.

Christina Dely Photography said...

Not that I am a mom or anything yet, but I really enjoyed this post! Gives me a lot to think about for the future :) Your kids are beautiful!!!

MiMi said...

Those are really fabulous tips!

Anonymous said...

Great points, girl. I definitely do not want my kids to grow up sheltered... We don't have any big plans to travel far, but we love to explore! Great post. Glad to hear you're settling in alright!

MELANIE said...

What an amazing know I can relate on many levels. But you laid it out for all parents! Im glad your back in France and safe, I look forward to your little field trips (i love the and also your modeling of your American mama in France couture.

Kids are resilient and they adjust to things we sometimes think will break them down. We are the weak ones. And...I just have to say that they are getting more handsome by the week! God Bless!

Hope hubs has a good season!

Lucky 7 Design
Mama J and Her Fashionistas


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