We recently took a family trip to WildPlay in Naniamo, BC. We needed to get the kids out of the house for a bit of an adventure and had a small window of a few days without any visitors, exchange students or guests!
Hubby and the older daughter planned to do the Monkido Classic course, while the little kids were going to try the “kids course” for ages 5-12.
Now, I am already a Monkido fan. I always loved those challenge activities you had to do at summer camp, and pushing my limits because the adrenaline is coursing through me. I was a little concerned for my older daughter doing the BIG course, but figured that whatever happened up there, she would come out stronger for it.
But the little kids, I didn’t expect what happened with them to occur.
First off, the Kids Monkido course is a lock in style ropes course. They enter at the beginning, clipping in, and stay attached to the safety cable for the entire time while mom or dad (or guardian) hangs our 5-10 feet below them.
This didn’t seem like a big deal to me, until I realized what it forced the kids into doing.
Up there, without my eyes, and my hands to solve their problems, they were 100% on their own. If they got stuck, it was another little person who needed to help them. If they were scared, they had only themselves to rely on.
And sticking a 5 and 9 year old in that situation is probably the best thing I have ever done.
My daughter pretty much whizzed through the course. After the initial leap, she gained confidence and pushed her limits. She wanted to go fast! She wanted to conquer the course. She was glowing.
My son attacked it in a whole different way.
He was cautious on his first lap, assessing and still trying to figure out the system. He was methodical as he approached each activity, and didn’t want me to witness him as he worked to gained his confidence.
He had a moment where he got stuck, and through the tears needed to be “rescued” by the child behind him. With me on the ground, he needed to communicate, and work with this little girl, before any of the kids could continue.
But when he did, I could see the fear and lack of confidence just fall away. Once he had conquered an issue, he finally realized that ANYTHING was conquerable, and that is when he took off.
He challenged himself, removing his arms from the safety holds, trying to move faster through the course. He still had a few issues along the way, but worked the solutions out, ON HIS OWN.
For the first time my 5 year old needed to figure it out by himself, and as I expected all along, he COULD.
The kids finished the course EMPOWERED and now, weeks later, they still talk about it. This few hours of family fun changed them, and it showed me something very important as well.
My kids ARE old enough now to do activities that challenge all of us. They can hack it out, deal with stress and fear and things that may seem “scary”. They are ready for more adventure, and for me, (and my husband) that is huge.
Monkido helped us feel more confident in booking our next holiday, and in letting go of our kids that one more step. Trusting that, when they have to, they will come through on their own wits and abilities.
You can learn more about WildPlay Element parks and their locations and activities on their website!
Oh, and how did my older daughter do on the Classic Course? You tell me …