We’ve all read the posts and seen the memes, reminders of how hard life ‘used’ to be (when we were kids) and how ‘easy’ it is for this generation. The implication being that all of our over protection and pampering and participation awards, while meant to strengthen our children’s self-esteem, might actually be harming it.
And then there is the national addiction to electronic devices and virtual experience. We know hours-on-hours in front of a video monitor can’t be good, but what’s a parent to do? I mean, at least it keeps them quiet and out of the Tide Pods.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my iPhone and positive reinforcement and safety protocols. However, I also believe there is a lot to be learned from adventure and controlled risk and experiencing a little failure before the success.
And that’s why I believe our youth rock climbing experiences are so powerful. Climbing allows youth to step into that world of risk without a guarantee of success in a controlled, paced environment.
And kid’s love it. Rock climbing provides the visual as well as tactile experience that engages both their focus and imagination. Through the process of climbing a rock wall, the excitement and challenge is guaranteed to surpass that of any video game.
Another benefit of climbing is the positive reinforcement of effort, not participation. Every successful move provides some semblance of feelings of success earned; while at the same time, as moves get harder, falling (and thus failure) are guaranteed. The end result is learning to not fear failing, but rather accepting it as an opportunity to learn and to improve.
That same working through moves also stimulates minds to problem solve. In fact, a recent study found that working memory (essentially problem solving) was improved both in youth and adults after engaging in activities like rock climbing*.
Self-confidence is another palpable benefit. Just talk to any kiddo (or adult for that matter) after reaching the top of the wall or making some move they couldn’t before. The bravado and the conviction that ‘I just did that’ doesn’t evaporate when they walk out the gym door. Rather, it instills that belief that ‘if I can do that, what else might I be able to accomplish?’
So what are you waiting for? Give us a call. We would love to discuss which of our many youth programs would best meet the needs of your little daredevil.
Embrace Your Adventure
Follow Your Bliss,