If your kids are anything like ours, then you have some serious adventurers running around. I have two up-for-anything kids and one that is quite risk-averse. My two adrenaline junkies locked their eyes on Parakeet Pete’s Zip Line in Branson Landing in Branson, MO, and I knew we were going for it – with a three and four-year-old – at night.
Here’s what we learned after we rode the sky-high lines three times.
Let them make a choice.
My oldest daughter had zero interest in riding the zip line. She knew that right away, and no amount of convincing from my husband was going to change her mind. He wanted to push the issue and help her “conquer her fear,” but I thought it best to let her stay firmly planted on the ground. She knows her mind, and I wanted to honor that as best I could. She did end up a little sad that everyone in the family did something she didn’t, but she didn’t change her mind.
Talk through what is about to happen.
My kids were yanking on my arms to hop on the zip line, and after our first ride, they both said: “again, again.” They didn’t need any convincing. My son was not prepared for the windy ride down, and my youngest daughter was not ready for the loud noise when we stopped. We rode an electric zip line, not a tree-to-tree traditional line. If we could do it again, I’d let them watch a rider go before us so we could chat through their questions ahead of time.
Let them go for it.
As moms go, my friends tell me I’m pretty adventurous. I let my children rock scramble, creek stomp and ride zip lines. But I still worry like every other mom. The zip line operator had to convince me that everything was safe (more than once). But I knew I’d be holding my kids back if I didn’t let them go. So I put my fears aside and hopped on the ride too.
To this day, riding the zip line is one of their favorite memories of our entire trip to Branson, MO. I’m so glad we did, and I hope you get to experience it with your kids too.