Why isn't my teenager interested in a nature walk?

When you were a teenager, were you interested in nature walks? If so, great, but if not, then that might be the reason your teenager is not interested.

The best way to get your teen interested will be to find out what they are interested in. Do not try to force then because as you know, they will rebel. Focus on finding something you can both enjoy keeping everyone active, healthy, and happy!

I wonder, did your child enjoy nature walks or participate in nature walks before becoming a teen? Since teenage years bring developmental challenges, such as a growing need for independence, your teen may feel nature walks with parents won't be any fun. For example, my teen loves to go fishing with friends, but when I ask him to go fishing with me, he declines. Keeping in mind your teen's developmental needs and changes, an activity which captures his or her attention is often the most successful activity to share with them. Oftentimes, when parents want to have a conversation with their teen, taking them for a car ride works best. Many teens have difficulty with eye contact when discussing "meaty" issues. Riding in the car allows for a deep conversation without subjecting a teen to eye contact in addition. Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank (author of Diary of Anne Frank), returned to Holland from the concentration camps in Germany. He commented after reading Anne's diaries that a parent never knows what their child is thinking. Our children grow and change, that is their job. Yet, each one does so in a different manner. Maybe a car ride to a special place (alone with your teen), and a question to them about nature walks may give you the answer you seek. Good luck, this is a special transition time for both a teen and their parent. 

Teenagers are frequently self-conscious about certain activities. If an activity doesn't sound "cool" or if they have a misconception of what something is, then they may be reluctant to participate or try something new. Perhaps if you referred to this activity by another name, then your teenager might be more open to it.

Telling a teenage boy you'd like him to go on your hike with you for protection could appeal to his ego, whereas a "nature walk" may conjure up images of Julie Andrews singing in a meadow. Try to appeal to their sense of adventure.

Allowing them to bring another friend along or telling them they can listen to their music on their headphones during the walk might also increase interest. It can be a challenge to get teenagers to try something for the first time. Don't be surprised if they end up enjoying it and have a "green eggs and ham" experience.

Being a high school teacher, I am well aware that you must keep the child's attention if you are going to be effective.  With that, a nature walk can seem boring to a teenager who has grown up in a world full of computers and gaming systems.  As adults we understand and appreciate the importance of an activity such as a 'nature walk', but the child may not grasp the concept.  Make sure the nature walk is fun and entertaining--use this experience as an opportunity to talk with the teenager about things which interest him/her.  If the teenager associates the 'nature walk' with a sense of open communication about topics they feel are important then they will be more engaged.  Hope this helps

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.