Friday, November 11, 2011

How to keep kids from whining on the trail

Kids lack the emotional control of adults. The result is they will whine and complain. It’s up to you to sort through these complaints and figure out if these are warning signs of bigger problems.

All too often a kid isn’t really complaining about what’s upsetting him. Is he hungry? Cold? Hot? Needs to go potty? Are you going too fast? Do the new shoes hurt his feet? Is he tired? Once you figure out what’s bothering him, then you can fix it, and nine times out of ten, all will be fine from there on out.

If your children are whining and look tired, there’s no need to keep pushing them onward. It’s time to turn back. If your own body is starting to feel sore, you can bet your child already has been suffering quite a bit longer.

Teenagers simply may need to be kidded out of complaining. Be gentle, not critical, though. If your teens can’t laugh at themselves, don’t push it, or they’ll think everyone is picking on them.

Read more about day hiking with children in the guidebook Hikes with Tykes.