Yesterday, my wife and I had our two kids in a baby dedication meeting at church. I was struggling to hold my almost 3 year old toddler, because he was wanting to move, explore, test things out in the room. I decided he needed to get outside before this baby dedication began. We walked around and found 3 foot boulders for him to climb on. He was in heaven. He loved climbing to the top and asking me to join him. This got me intrigued on the topic, “Why you should take your kids rock climbing.” If this was meeting his need, it would surely satisfy the wild, adventurous heart of other kids.
A recent study shows that 2/3 of children do not get enough physical activity to help their growth and development. Rock Climbing offers huge benefits helping children deal with fear, self confidence, trust, problem solving and decision making. Also, climbing is a great way to spend time outdoors in nature with friends and family. Here are six benefits of taking your kids rock climbing:
1. Healthy Lifestyle - Climbing is a physical activity that challenges the body and the mind. It requires full attention and frees the mind to be present in the moment. To excel, one must choose healthy eating habits, strength, and endurance training to help with the physical challenges. The rewards of these choices are joy, self confidence, happiness, health, strength and more.
2. Promotes Courage - Climbing is challenging. All climbers have faced fears while climbing. Overcoming fear is what builds mental strength, character and confidence. We need to create safe situations for our kids to get outside of their comfort zone so they can be brave.
3. Get Outside - Climbing takes us to beautiful places in the outdoor world. Kids need to get outside. The current generation has a disconnect with the outdoors. Climbing outside on real rock is inspiring and invigorating. This will be motivating and encouraging for kids.
4. Fail Often, Fail Fast, Fail Forward - Climbing teaches us that failing is ok. Failing is part of the process of challenging yourself. Growth happens in the challenge zone not the comfort zone. The more opportunities we create for our kids to challenge themselves, the more they learn that failing is apart of life. It’s humbling and teaches them that failure is apart of the growth process.
5. Builds Trust - Climbing requires a lot of trust. When using ropes, one person is climbing and the other is holding the rope (belaying) which is the safety line that keeps the climber from falling to the ground. The partnership between a climber and a belayer teaches kids how to communicate. Trust is important life lesson that is given to others, not earned.
6. Problem Solving - Climbing teaches kids how to solve problems. Climbing up a rock face requires a sequence through the path of least resistance. The challenge is learning how to read the rock and solve the many problems or sequences that are thrown their way while climbing towards the top. This is the perfect metaphor for life.