Every kid is different, just like each of us is different. There is no set way to raise a child because of this variable.
My 2 kids are quite different from each other – maybe even complete opposites.
My 6-year old son is extremely sensitive, hard-headed, playfully mischievous, and occasionally disrespectful. He likes bad words and things that are borderline inappropriate. He is also sweet, loving, and caring. He wasn’t always sure about this outdoorsy stuff that I have introduced him to. He loves to be at home in the comfort of his own bed, with his own things.
When I first introduced my kids to camping and hiking, he did not like it. At all. When on the trail, he would complain the entire time – in fact, I think we are banned from the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park because he screamed and cried the entire time we were hiking in this peaceful, quiet place. I’ve also had to carry him numerous times on trails because he refused to walk. Adventuring with kids is NOT always rainbows and sunshine.
I did not give up though. I still brought him on these adventures and over time, with lots of support and encouragement, he has grown to love it. All of my effort paid off big time when we went on our camping trip over the summer and he hiked a 5 mile, not so easy, trail with minimal complaint. That was a defining moment for us – knowing that he really does enjoy this now.
As we talk about future adventures together as a family, he doesn’t dread them anymore, he’s actually excited and enthused about going.
He has also joined Cub Scouts and that has helped greatly too. Especially in the mischievous and disrespectful department. Of all things, I refuse to raise my son to be disrespectful to anyone – especially women. There is too much of that in this world and I’m not going to raise my family to allow or contribute to it.
I can say I want him to be this or that as he grows up, but really, I just want him to be happy. I will give him as many experiences as possible to help guide him in the direction of happiness, self-love, and self-discovery. Wherever that takes him, I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful.