You hope your kids’ heads will hit their pillows exhausted at night between school, extracurriculars, playing with friends, and sports practices. Sometimes it feels like you raise an energizer bunny, and you’ll try anything to tucker them out. Or, maybe your kid is the type who climbs up anything and everything they can grab, giving you mini heart attacks daily. No matter your child’s energy level, personality, or physical abilities, it might be time to consider starting your child in rock climbing.
For anyone, rock climbing offers a plethora of benefits. It is a fantastic option if you want a new activity to preoccupy your kid(s) or a new sport for them that builds a foundation of mental and physical skills crucial in maximizing their developmental years. It provides:
- Physical and mental strength
- Problem-solving skills
- A hobby they can continue for life.
Physical Strength for Kids
Besides being fun (what kid doesn’t want to climb some colorful holds and feel like Spiderman), rock climbing is an excellent source of physical activity. Developing a love for physical activity during childhood sets a healthy foundation and good habits for your child in adulthood. Factor in the fun and exciting aspects of climbing, and suddenly your child is eager to climb without knowing about the whole body workout they are receiving.
Climbers must fully trust themselves, their gear, and their climbing partner to succeed. After all, when you climb on a rope, you are literally trusting the person on the other end with your life!
Problem-Solving Skills and Patience
Rock climbing is like a giant puzzle. The mental aspect of climbing works on cognitive and problem-solving abilities, forcing your child to persist and keep trying even when they feel “stuck.”Each boulder problem or top-rope/lead route invites the climber to figure out the most efficient way they can reach the finish. For a child to finish a climb, they may have to think outside the box and innovate, as they are often smaller than the professionals who set the climbs. If a child cannot reach a hold the intended way, they have to reevaluate and come up with an alternate method patiently.
Rock Climbing Builds Confidence in Kids
Rock climbing is hard for people of any age. It’s also an individual sport. Thus rock climbing can build confidence in your child as they try hard to succeed. When a climber keeps falling off the same move but figures out how to complete it, their confidence in their abilities increases. While they may have verbal help from a coach to figure out the movement, your child’s belief in themselves carries them to the top of the wall. And the confidence built in the climbing gym will carry over into how your child carries themselves on their walk through life. Confident children are not afraid to try things and keep trying when things don’t work out the first time.
Rock Climbing Is a Hobby Kids Can Continue for Life
While the cognitive and physical components are excellent reasons to get your kids climbing, another benefit is that climbing can be a life-long sport. If they learn to train and recover properly, it’s a sport they can enjoy for life. As parents, you won’t have to worry about them having bad knees by age 20 or three concussions by age 18. Look at professional climbers from the late 1990s or early 2000s, such as Chris Sharma or Lynn Hill. These climbers have had success at the highest level of climbing for decades.
Check out your local indoor climbing gym for classes and programs teaching kids rock climbing! Let us know in the comments below how your kid’s first time climbing goes and if they’ll return!