We all long to give our kids things that we didn’t have. A better life, security and happiness. Over the last year my wife and I have discovered a way to bond with our 6 year old boy in a way we never experienced ourselves as children.
It first started one weekend here in Chiang Mai, Thailand (where my wife and son are from). With our Saturday completely free we decided to go on a drive just outside the city to try something new: bamboo rafting. That day ended up being a turning point for our family.
Bamboo rafting in Mae Wang, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The three of us slowly cruised down a small stream upon a bundle of bamboo logs. On either side of us was northern Thailand’s lush jungle landscape. The sound of the water provided the soundtrack to the day while dragonflies and butterflies flew about and around us.
We noticed our son’s demeanor becoming much more tranquil. The gentle river and passing scenery provided him with constant sensory input, but in a way healthier way than that of cartoons or games. We don’t necessarily think cartoons or games are bad, but we found that too much of them really affected his attention span negatively.
So we then made a habit to go on simple, cheap day trips as often as possible. Little by little our little boy fell in love with flowers, animals and nature as a whole.
Mork Fa Waterfalls
We visited waterfalls, botanic gardens and other top spots in Chiang Mai. With how much energy little kids have, we found the outdoors to be a great place to burn off energy in a healthy manner. The activities we’d do would also require the three of us to not only be together physically, but to be engaged together mentally as well. One of the coolest destinations was Chiang Mai's so-called "Sticky Waterfalls."
As a parent I sometimes struggled to figure out how to bond with my son. Due to our age difference we are obviously going to have different preferences. But it seems as though nature can transcend age. And thankfully so. These trips are a family tradition we hope to keep going for decades to come 😊