As I write this, we are nearing the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all had to be creative and look for ways to create connection while maintaining physical distance. Although youngsters have been able to withstand the effects of the virus better than their elders, many still suffer. How can you create joyful human connection in a young person’s life? One answer: take a hike.
Larry and I have always been huge fans of hiking. Over the years, we have had opportunities to hike not only with our grandkids, but other young people as well. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, hiking provides benefits to kids including improved self-confidence and the ability to “rough it” just a little bit. Plus, being outside in fresh air refreshes the soul. Consider inviting a young person (and their parent or guardian, if you aren’t a family member) to go on a hike. And when I say “hike” perhaps “walk” is all you or your young friend can do. That’s fine too! The important thing is that you spend time listening to and affirming a young mind that has been under tremendous change and stress these past many months.
What to talk about? Oh, that’s easy! Try out a few questions from our “Getting to Know You” questionnaire. Really, any inquiry that gets them talking will do. Think about family and friends with young kids, tweens and teens. Who can you invite to “take a hike” today?
You may also enjoy: How to Connect with Kids from a Safe Social Distance and Walk and Talk.