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  • Writer's pictureRobyn


In to the Cliveden woods to run.

My new year's resolutions are going to be straightforward this year. Into the woods, Into the woods. Into all the woods that we can find. Or just outside.

I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but it rained lots over Christmas. Then it was Christmas, and then it rained some more. We'd been outside a couple of times, but we got to the 27th and looked at the bored and fractious kids, realised it wasn't currently raining and decided it was time for a proper outing. We found the welly boots, packed a few snacks, faffed around for half an hour when we really shouldn't have and then set off to find the woodland carpark at Cliveden.

Facebook is a delighful machine - you click on one link a friend has posted about concerning some aspect of parenting and your feed becomes inundated stories with how to be a better parent in all manner of contradictory ways. I really don't know why I bother reading them, aside from I'm slightly bored, procrastinating and maybe they might just be enlightening. The last one I happened across was about the rise of ADHD, anxiety and stress in children and whether this could possibly coincide with the increasing pressures we're putting on ever younger children to sit still, learn to write and to 'behave' when they really ought to be just haring around outside, exploring the world and developing their bodies and minds. I appreciate that there is research and science to back this up, but really its bloody obvious. In my house, despite all the shiny new toys that Father Christmas had carefully delivered down the chimney the kids were bored. They weren't sitting nicely playing with the toys, they were using the sofa as a diving board and making piles of books on the floor - really, they just needed to get out. And, what happened the moment I got my slightly grumpy children into the woods? Massive grins as they teared off exploring and hiding behing trees and jumping in muddy puddles.

So, this year, that is going to be my aim. I'm not going to pretend that I'm not going to turn the telly on when I'm trying to cook dinner or sleepily hand over the ipad when a child appears at an unreasonable time in the morning. But I am going to try and find time more regularly to take the kids out to woods and fields and not just to the playground. Because, look how happy it makes them!

Oh, and try and survive going back to work. I wonder how big the laundry pile is going to get...

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