Generally, we love to have our kids experience new things. It helps them make great memories, and can even make them more adventurous as they grow into adulthood. But some children are resistant to the idea of trying anything new, especially when it takes place more than 100 feet off the ground and travels at high speeds. Of course, we’re talking about ziplining with kids.
Ziplining can be intimidating, even for adults, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things you can do to help ease your kids into the idea of ziplining and make the entire day more fun for everybody. If you want your child to have a true Hawaiian adventure, follow these tips and the experience will go off without a hitch!
Get Answers to Their Questions
Children are inquisitive. When they first hear about ziplining, chances are they’re going to have a lot of questions. Answer the ones you can and let the guides fill in the details on those you may not know. If it seems like they have questions but are keeping them to themselves, encourage them to speak up.
The only way everyone will be comfortable with ziplining is if any concerns are addressed. This is especially important on the day of the tour. Let them know they can ask the instructor their (relevant) questions to ensure they feel more comfortable.
Some kids are just going to be very nervous about ziplining. Everybody reacts differently to the idea of ziplining, and there are even adults who are skittish about the concept. Your child may seem fine with the idea of it, but once they get to the first platform, the height and watching others do it may trigger their anxiety.
Don’t push an anxious kid to do something he or she really doesn’t want to do. Be patient and talk them through what they’re most afraid of. It may end with them insisting on giving it a pass, and that’s fine. There are plenty of other fun adventures in Hawaii that kids can enjoy, like family ATV rides and horseback riding.
Try Tandem Ziplining
Many locations offer tandem ziplining. This is great for parents who want to experience something magical with their son or daughter. So long as the combined weight of both participants doesn’t exceed the maximum, you’ll be able to ride with your child, which is sure to give them a confidence boost.
Be Confident and Set a Good Example
If you look nervous, you can bet that your kid will get nervous, too. Lead by example. Let your child know that it’s OK to be a little apprehensive when trying something new. Stay upbeat, and your excitement will likely get passed on to your kid. Explain the importance of listening to the instructor. Show that you’re paying close attention, and chances are your child will do the same.
If you’re not doing a tandem ride with your kid next to you and have a spouse or another family member with you, you may be able to ease some of their worries by going first. When they see you’re comfortable doing it, they may feel better about launching off that first platform.
Make Sure They Follow the Guide’s Instructions
This can’t be stressed enough: everyone, no matter their age, needs to do what the instructors tell them. Ziplining is a very safe activity so long as everyone participates in keeping it safe.
Once you start your ziplining adventure, the instructor is in charge. Make that clear before you even arrive at the venue so they know to listen and pay close attention to the safety instructions.
It’s also important that you keep an eye on your child. The guides are very good at keeping everyone organized, but it doesn’t take much for things to get chaotic.
Understand Weight Limits
By necessity, every zipline has a weight limit. While while the need for a maximum weight limit is fairly obvious, there is also a minimum weight that all children need to meet in order to ride. Check the weight limit of the zipline before booking your excursion, and be sure your child falls within it. If they’re not, riding can be dangerous and will not be permitted.
The average minimum weight is usually around 60 or 70 lbs.
Can We Go Again?
These tips for ziplining with kids aren’t not just so you have peace-of-mind and know your child will be safe; they’re also to ensure that the whole family will have a blast and make great memories of the experience. If you follow our advice, can you bet that, before you even head back to the car, your kids be asking when they can go again.