It's hard to balance what we need and what are kids' need. We know getting outdoors is good, most of you know I'm a big supporter of that. But yesterday when I read a facebook post about a family out on their daily 'forced family' walk, saying even the reluctant teen enjoyed herself. It made me think a couple of different things.
One, the teens may be suffering more than any of us. They're used to being with their friends most of their day. They're used to having their time directed for most of the day. They are used to a certain amount of autonomy, they're used to privacy. If your kid came home to an empty house after school before you got home from work, they are used to a lot of privacy.
That is why I recommend listening as step three of building a cooperative homeschool environment. When your child (if they are old enough to stay home alone) asks not to go on the family walk, it may be because they need some time home alone. Try discussing your concerns with them: it's important that we get out of the house even for a little while. You'll find when you listen to your kids and hear their concerns they are more likely to hear yours. And are more willing to come up with a mutually satisfactory solution. Maybe if they skip the family walk, they'll play outdoor with their sibling when you get back.
Kids know what they need, and when you listen to them and work on understanding, you will be surprised how understanding they can be.
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