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Family dynamics

19th Jul 2019

Expand those horizons – why trying new things is so important for growing kids

Anna Daly


Brought to you by Cadbury Dairymilk Freddo Treasures

The world is there to be discovered.

Who better to discover it than our own little balls of curious energy? There’s nothing we love more than seeing our kids’ eyes light up when they discover something new about the world, even if it means a whole half hour worth of “why?”.

Our favourite times are when the kids come to us with questions we’d never even considered ourselves (why does the Easter Bunny deliver eggs if rabbits don’t lay eggs?). Then we get to discover something new ourselves (apparently it’s because spring means babies – of which rabbits have quite a lot – and eggs are a symbol of new life).

Aside from our own personal enjoyment in seeing the world through our children’s curious eyes, learning about and trying new things is so important for kids when they’re growing up. Here are just some of the reasons:

1. It opens their minds.

If your little ones are used to trying new things from the get-go, it will be a much easier habit to continue as they get older. If they’re constantly learning about new things, they’ll have a much more varied way of thinking and living as they grow up. They will be open to learning about different cultures and ways of thinking, plus they’ll have a great ability to see things outside the box.

2. It increases their knowledge of the world.

Knowledge is power, as they say. We may not be striving for our kids to be “powerful” in a dictatorial type of way, but we certainly want them to be successful in their own right. Letting our kids explore, ask questions and try new things means they’ll be constantly learning. They’ll get a headstart on all of that school stuff without even realising. That may not seem so important now but we retain information better if we learn it properly as children so, once the Leaving Cert rolls around (we know, don’t freak out), all that base knowledge will come in very handy.

3. It gets them used to doing things outside of their comfort zone.

Everyone wants to wrap their kids in cotton wool and it’s perfectly acceptable to do so, for a little while at least. However, we eventually have to let them face a few challenges because the world certainly isn’t going to mollycoddle them. If you organise fun little adventures, they’ll be able to jump out of their comfort zone willingly and will get more and more used to it each time. When harder challenges come around, they’ll be much more willing to step up and tackle them head on.

4. They gain independence when they have to learn things by themselves.

By all means, accompany your little ones on all their adventures and journies of discovery but, unless they ask for your help, try to sit back and let them figure things out for themselves. First of all, the information will stick better if they had to learn it by themselves and, secondly, it will teach them to be independent in learning situations. The ability to teach yourself something or to learn in an independent environment is a huge advantage in any future careers they may have (don’t freak out, you have years yet until that happens!). It also means that, in school, if they don’t quite understand something, they’ll be much more likely to go and find out what they’re missing, rather than waiting for someone to explain it again.

5. It could introduce them to things that they will love forever.

Your little one has the entire world before them. Who knows what they’ll grow up to be? A dancer? A writer? A doctor? A marine biologist? An engineer? A theoretical physicist? It could be anything at all. All that matters is that they love what they do – and, just think, that love could start right now. The more they experience, the more chances they’ll have to find something that they truly adore spending their time doing. A love that could last a lifetime and maybe even earn them a living.

We know, these are longterm goals and lifelong dreams but it’s never too early to start building those positive habits and giving your little ones a headstart in whatever way you can. Sure, they’ll thank you when they’re older but, more importantly, they’ll love the adventure now.

Brought to you by Cadbury Dairymilk Freddo Treasures

Cadbury Dairymilk Freddo Treasures are now on sale and are the perfect snack to bring on your adventures. Camp Freddo is back from 11-14 August but tickets are SOLD OUT. Lucky for you, we’re giving away some tickets here on HerFamily, so check out these competitions to try and nab a family pass for yourself and your little adventurers.