How Childhood Memories Made You Who You Are?

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2017-07-04T13:11:46+12:00December 8th, 2016|Children|

What is your best childhood vacation memory?

Is it a family holiday? A summer camp during your school vacations? An adventure into nature with your little brother or sister?

Independent of what this memory may be, this memory is part of the vast multitude of experiences you have had through your life that makes you who you are. Our childhood experiences could be considered the most important and influential ones we go through in our lifetimes. These cherished moments build and shape the blocks that create what we call our personalities. The friends, adventures and moments we have when we are kids help us in developing our sense of self-confidence, leadership, independence, bravery, empathy, limits, and so on.

Great childhood memories are often related to fun moments in nature or with our beloved ones, or both. We learn a lot and obtain great insights by being surrounded by others similar to us in nature, whether this be individuals that are older or younger, as from everyone we have the potential to absorb a great amount of self-knowledge and self-awareness just by being in contact with them and in Mother Nature.

Researchers in Canada have conducted a study revealing that through increased contact with nature kids between the ages of 11 and 13 year old become more physically active. An additional study held in Maryland and Colorado also identified reduced levels of anxiety and increased sense of competence and development within the ability to create supportive social groups once children ventured out further into nature.
The benefits of encouraging your children to form a strong bond with nature on a more consistent and frequent level is countless, from improving their focus and concentration, their body awareness, their sense of community, their care and respect for the environment, even extending to developing more meaningful relationships with their families and themselves.

Do you remember that lake that you use to like to jump in, that hike that took a long time to finish, that waterfall that had the coldest water you’ve ever dive bombed into, that sunset that gave you comfort to those sweaty and tiring afternoons following a whole day of activities? These are some of the moments you will forever carry with you in your life, and that you will tell your children and great grandchildren about.

Many of these incredible childhood moments are forged when we are away from our parents, but purely surrounded by other children just letting loose. Such as happens in schools breaks, school trips, and school holiday programs.

Unfortunately, we now live in a time where life has become a rush and we are, each year, disconnecting ourselves further from nature and from each other. Times where our attention is worth money and because of that we have an infinite stream flow of information reaching us and our children from the most diverse sources trying to distract or influence our actions.

Life at times becomes so busy that we might catch ourselves not exposing our children to the same amount of experiences and great moments that we had during our own childhood, but rather having them spend much more time in front of the TV, Computers, Videogames or phones, neglecting the call from being outdoors.

It is important to remember ourselves the value of such outdoor activities and experiences. When was the last time our children went to the beach? When was the last time we brought our nephew to the park? When was the last time our kids and their friends went for a summer camp? Let us remember that these experiences are not only creating fun moments in which our children are entertained, but are also providing them with an opportunity to discover, be curious, and receive education from the natural environment, teaching them life lessons that they probably will not learn from being indoor at home.
School holidays are probably the most waited event of the year for kids. Even though they might love their friends from school or the activities they do there, they still look forward with excitement to the last day of school every year with anticipation of what is coming up in the next day. That day where freedom receives a name, and it is called Summer!

We all desire for a more conscious and sustainable planet and our little bundles of joy can contribute to this visions through trekking their path to a beautiful and fulfilling life. Our responsibility as a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, is to do our best in providing them with the resources they need to become everything they came into this life to become.

This summer, let’s not just remember but actively expose our children to nature, art, other children, beautiful places, loving and caring moments,  learning new skills, and to everything else they need to make these weeks as some of their own best childhood memories.
Kawai Purapura offers a School Holiday Program for parents interested in  connecting their kids with nature and other children in a safe, supervised and fun environment.

For more information about the program, please click here.

Blog by Cadu Cassau