Some children are born explorers. For others, the idea of venturing out of their comfort zones doesn't seem like fun; it feels overwhelming. Sometimes a child is left behind by other children who want to explore, especially when the park, pool, and beach are calling out for adventure. A reluctant explorer may need a boost from you to get over fear. Also, ask yourself if you're contributing to your child's anxiety by conveying your own worries about straying too far, getting hurt, or becoming dirty. If so, you'll want to keep this in check so your child can become a more confident explorer - while still being safe, of course!
Igniting interest in creative exploration is a gift you can give your child that will burn brightly long into adulthood. So get out your favorite walking shoes, digging stick, and magnifying glass - and go exploring!
Dr. Susan Bartell is a nationally recognized child psychologist, speaker, and award-winning author. Her latest book is The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask. You can learn more about Dr. Bartell at www.drsusanbartell.com.