I can see the enormous improvement in my daughter, J, during our monthly hiking trip last weekend.
J is shy and introvert by nature. But in this trip, she opened up like I never see before.
A Great Weekend Getaway – Christmas Run
Since this was a Christmas run, the hiking club invited a clown to entertain the kids. They danced, they played and they watched magic show.
The highlight was Santa Claus presenting gifts to all the kids there. In actual fact, this was pre-arranged. Parents had bought gifts before coming to the trip. The gifts were given to Santa and he distributed the gifts as though the presents were from him.
Guess what, Santa was J’s favorite of the day!
We also had a sit-down dinner for this trip.
In short, it was one heck of a fun time. It was a dream event of every kid.
But I digress.
How Hiking Trips Help My Daughter
Back to J and how she has improved. She’s now not afraid of not having her mother by her side and she’s more sociable – by her standard.
- During the dance session with the clown, for the first time in my life, I saw her dancing without my wife’s standing next to her. She joined the crowd (read other kids) and followed the movements of the clown in front.
- She played musical chairs. We didn’t ask her to join (we did this on purpose as we wanted to let her follow her own pace). She took her own initiative to play this game that she never played before. She was one of the first few to be out but who cares. She already made a giant leap in making the decision to play.
- During Santa time, she went up to the stage alone and received a gift from Santa. She even sat on Santa’s lap for a photo shoot. Wonderful!
- She asked for permission to go to the stream. We almost skipped this as it was already late. But we allowed her to proceed after she insisted. The first time she went for a trip like this, she didn’t even dare to wet her toes!
All this showed that J is on the way to break out from her shell. She might not be the most sporting and extrovert kid of the day but I could see her transforming.
I believe exposing kids to events like this (in which kids mingle and have fun) would help kids improve their social skills.
However, this has not worked out well for our son, K. He still needs some time. He clung on to me most of the time. This might due to the fact that he missed out the previous trip (he was sick) and he had to start picking up momentum again.
But all in all, it was an event worth going. We really had a great weekend.