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April 17, 2012

Five tips for living your adventure with your children

cycling the dalton highway in alaska with kids

Cycling the Dalton Highway in Alaska with kids

“Once my kids are out of the house, I’ll…”

I’ve heard that more times than I can count and I cringe each time. You don’t have to put your dreams off until your children have left the house. Living your dreams with children is a rewarding, exhilarating experience, and will build unforgettable memories for both you and your child.

Here are five tips for living your dream with your children:

1)      Start early: Don’t wait until your child is a teenager before living your dream. Kids learn to love what they grow up with, so make sure they are exposed to it from an early age.

2)      Get the kids involved: Let your child know what’s coming and encourage him to be involved in the planning. You will always have the final say, but try to incorporate your child’s wishes in some manner.

3)      Never doubt your child: Don’t doubt your child’s capability for one nanosecond. Children have an amazing capacity to live up to expectations. If you expect your child can’t do it, chances are he won’t. On the other hand, if you truly believe he can, and expect him to, he will.

4)      Modify your schedule: Know from the outset that your pace will be different. Don’t expect children to be able to handle the same level of physical demands you can.

5)      Focus on making memories: Shift the focus from the destination or end goal to the process of getting there. Take the attitude that actually making it all the way around the world isn’t as important as the time together as a family.

Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

*****

Nancy Sathre-Vogel is an adventure mom who has traveled extensively both before and after kids. Her most recent adventure was a 3-year jaunt on bicycles from Alaska to Argentina with her husband and children. She blogs at www.familyonbikes.org

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