Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Exploring and adventures is the 'Kiwi way'

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Rotorua mum Kelly Stewart with children Hunter, 6, (left) and Kaitlyn, 11. Photo / Ben Fraser
Rotorua mum Kelly Stewart with children Hunter, 6, (left) and Kaitlyn, 11. Photo / Ben Fraser

Kelly Stewart is one of many Rotorua parents who want to see this generation of children raised "the old Kiwi way".

"There are too many kids bubble wrapped and told they can't try anything for themselves because they might get hurt."

Mrs Stewart said she raised her children to explore the farm they lived on and they did not have broadband or gaming devices.

"I have four children and I have raised all of them the way we were raised - hunting, fishing and camping. They play in the rain and go on adventures - they have been raised the old Kiwi way."

She said children were resilient and a little tumble here and there was how they learned risk management.

"I encourage my children to climb trees and if they fall out, they dust themselves off and try again, it doesn't do them any harm and then they learn for themselves that if they climb that way again, they will fall again.

"I think it's really sad that some schools are banning children from playing games like bull rush or climbing trees because it's stopping kids from being kids.

"I am really lucky my children go to a school where they have boundaries, but they are not stopped from exploring out of fear they will get hurt."

She said she was already seeing this generation of children not wanting to play outside.

"As long as it is all within reason, I am all for letting children do their own thing and become their own person - it's a part of growing up."

Facebook comments:

* My kids love outdoors, hunting, horse riding, motorbikes, skiing, tramping, camping. Anything outdoors, you name it, they love it.

* Our kids are free to climb trees at school, they live on the farm, and our main recreational activity is tramping.

* My kiddies love the outdoors - camping and tramping.

* My two little troopers get out on the farm, cuts, bumps - all sorts. It's the best way to let them learn. I have four boys under the age of eight. My oldest has already broken his arms three times, my youngest has a disability but doesn't let that stop him from being boisterous, and my 4-year-old has absolutely no fear. It's quite rough and rowdy in my household but wouldn't have it any other way.

* I have five children and I call that kind of parenting 'free range'. The most important part of your kids exploring nature is exploring it with them which we all do as a whanau.

* My son's three and he loves fishing, hunting, feeding all his animals. Falling off his bike doesn't hurt him, he just learns from his mistake and gets back up.

* Nothing like a bit of exploring, and a few bumps and bruises, it is all part of learning.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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