TRY NEW THINGS! TRY NEW THINGS! TRY NEW THINGS!
It’s a chant that you will hear at Liberty Lake Day Camp amongst children at activities, to encourage their friends to push past their comfort zones and try a new experience that could expand their horizons… and it usually works!
Older children (and especially adults) have a human tendency to be content with what they know. We are creatures of habit, and “the comfort zone” is a real thing. Parent desires to protect their kids from difficulties and potential dangers over the course of their childhood can go overboard, creating anxiety for both parents and their kids, discouraging them to explore the wonders of the world.
What stops people from trying new things? Fear of failure of course – but not for young children. Young children are accustomed to failure, and pushing through it for success. But something happens around the age of double digits, (middle school) in which even the most daring children become hyperaware of how they look to others, and they curtail their sense of adventure in favor of looking cool – or at least not looking bad!
It is our job as child caregivers to not give in to this human tendency of playing it safe, but to encourage our children, setting the example by doing so ourselves. NOT saying things like, “I stink at sports” or stink at drawing, singing, swimming or don’t like to get dirty, or wet, etc. Children are very astute and will follow your lead. So, it’s your parental duty (and if you are a teacher or a camp counselor – yours too!) to suck it up and take one for the team, to show your kids how to be the kind of adult that lives life to its fullest…not hiding behind fears in our mind.
Very few children will embrace all sports, arts, music, adventure – but they should give them all a try at some point. For the sake of knowing that they are capable of accomplishing new tasks, adding skills to their toolbox, and experiences to their expanding universe. It will make them well-rounded, interesting people, and successful adults who naturally push the gamut of whatever and wherever they find themselves in life.
Life is a journey full of adventures, and the natural desire to explore the world that we see in the eyes of preschoolers should continue into adulthood. Remember the mantra, “TRY NEW THINGS!” – it’s usually met with smiles and successes!
Andy@libertylakedaycamp.com • www.libertylakedaycamp.com.