Teaching children to explore the world and blaze new trails is so important. Piggybacking on REI‘s campaign, Contributor Shanna Butler tells why it is important to teach children to be a #ForceOfNature.

So listen I could sit here and talk to you about what I do and how I do it, but really, will you listen? I post, blog, or whatever you want to call it, but do you actually read what I’m saying? I’d like to think so! But, sometimes there are messages that need to be read! Sometimes the headlines don’t convey how important what I’m about to say is. So I’m gonna squeeze it in right here, first paragraph, real quick; kids like to be lazy!

There it is, my big message… KIDS LIKE TO BE LAZY! I dropped the bomb of bombs and all your parents reading this just heard screeching brakes inside your head! What is this girl talking about, this message is as old as time! Given the choice ANY kid (whether they are active or not) unless pushed will only do JUST ENOUGH! This is dangerous! Not in a  “your child will get unhealthy kind of way” – we all know my feelings on exercise and health! But in a WORLD IM COMING FOR YA kind of way!

Let me explain!

My kids burst into my life like a storm! Screaming and throwing any sense of organization I may have had up into the air! And like most of you my world was flipped upside down. For the first part of their lives I was happy just getting by with them!

They weren’t tattling, that scream wasn’t a death scream and sometimes we all need to lean into the  television to be a babysitter – we are all human and more importantly NORMAL! But I quickly realized that these little storms I had given birth to were sitting there, laying dormant… waiting to strike! And when they would strike they hit hard!!! Like Hurricane Katrina hard… mass devastation, some of us didn’t make it out untouched! Throwing my hands in the air I would always use the old stand by, “why do you guys do this? Can’t you just be patient or get along?”– like these little tiny spitfires could control the force building inside them.

We all know what it feels like as adults to sit inside and be cooped up on a rainy day. Sure, day one is amazing but by day two, three, we are restless! We wanna move, groove, mess stuff up! We become rumbling, irritated, ready to shower our madness on whatever pile of laundry, dirty floor, messy paper pile or person we see!! But the moment we get out, smell the wet grass, look at the rainbow, channel in the birds and even swat at the bugs we can feel our bodies relax… the world will be alright- maybe even for just a moment! The storm settles inside!

I started getting in touch with these emotions in me a little bit ago and quickly realized that this worked WONDERS on my kids. We found things that challenged us, things that kept us grounded and focused, that honed in our stormy energy on days when we couldn’t always be the FORCE we were designed for. I started searching Facebook and quickly found so many others teaching their kiddos how to be a FORCE OF NATURE. To the moms working a business from home bringing their kiddos along or showing them focus and drive, to the hard working ladies inspiring tiny family members that they love to be bigger than they know! To the parents getting outside, exploring nature and showing their kids what matters!

Parents have a away of being meteorologist for their kids. We know their storms, when they are coming. The days it will be sun shiny and the days we all need to evacuate! Don’t look at this as a curse. This is a blessing … a HUGE friggin’ blessing! You can predict their moments to shine! As they grow this super hero parent strength fades and we lose this gift… so for today teach them to be forces, FORCES OF NATURE!

I want my kids to explore the world, leave their footprints, set new paths and sometimes go through life and take people over like a hurricane!

I want them to look at any mountain as climbable, look at any waterway and instantly think how to cross! I teach them every sky is a new horizon! Everyday they are a force in this world just pushing through.

Whether you are out in the world enjoying the view, the gifts we are given, trudging through back wooded hiking paths answering EVERYONE of the 50 million questions they ask about bugs, boogers, and brooks. Or you are walking hand-in-hand with your little ones to a vendor show giving them the “on your best behavior speech”, teach them their force! Nurture it, use it, help them change the world!

Take your kids outside. Walk next to them, listen to what fuels them… keepers, ask them, you would be surprised at some of their answers. When the moment is right stop them, hold their hand (no matter what age) feel your energies pulsing together. I’m telling you, you will feel it…and ask them the following:

What do you see? What do you feel? This is all you, and you are ALL of this!

Look at them and tell them their force is unstoppable! Please understand that they will have no flippin’ idea what you are talking about…. yet! But given the opportunity and the push, your babies will remember and it will imprint on them! Be the force in this world – a #ForceofNature

To say a person is a force of nature means the person is a very strong personality or character – like a hurricane or a tsunami – full of energy, unstoppable, unchangeable, unforgettable. In short, a person to be reckoned with.

The force is strong with this one….

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