Yesterday, daughter and I had been discussing what both of us did( at school and home respectively). I happened to mention that I went for a walk and stunned to see her burst into tears.
Apparently, she was upset that I went for a walk without her. I have to say that I was a Happy Mummy at that point in time.
You see, I have been asked by people why I ‘make’ my child walk to school when we have 2 cars. The school is just over half a mile away, and it takes us around 8 mins to walk there. Daughter has no issues with walking. She has walked that distance in all sorts of weather, even in heavy snow. If anything, bad weather makes it even more fun for her. Her nursery used to be 1.5 miles away and she used to walk the distance cheerfully, albeit, in good, weather. I don’t think a little fresh air and exercise does any body any harm.
Some parents choose to drive to school, even when their houses are closer than ours, but the way I look at it, walking half a mile to school is no hardship, and it just puts her in the habit of walking. Not just that, she enjoys walking too. Both husband and I love walking, and we walk whenever we get a chance. So she has grown up seeing us walking wherever possible. So she has grown up to think of it as a fun activity, rather than a compulsion. I know children who do not walk at all, who hate travelling by bus, and insist on going everywhere by car. I am not trying to judge, but I would much rather prefer daughter loves walking and understands that it is good to take public transport when it makes sense, than feel that it is some sort of a hardship or torture. One time, we went to the city centre by bus, and on the way back we did not get a seat to sit, but I was delighted to see that she stood all the way, and still had loads of fun.
Some of my friends ask me if she does not ‘mind’ walking, when we could drive. I think the reason she does not ‘mind’ is because we don’t present it as a hardship. Rather, it is an opportunity to have fun. We used to get to see horses and count blackberries, where we lived earlier. The time that we spend together walking is a lot of fun. We even meet people and make friends. Surely, in today’s hectic world, the joy of walking, is a wonderful gift for a child.
If I drive to school, we might reach a couple of minutes earlier, but would miss so much more. And not to mention that we have a playground on the way to school, which is accessible only if we walk. What more can a five yr old ask for?
So I don’t care if it is a ‘torture’ to anyone else, but when it comes to daughter and me, we love this torture!