Take a minute to think about positive childhood memories that are the most vivid. Most likely they innvolved multiple senses. A mind retains and absorbs multi sensory experiences in a way that more shallow experiences are not processed.
An example of this might include two types of trail walks. Imagine a toddling child allowed to walk at their own pace. Stops to observe what is happening above, hearing the call of a hawk, observing the life in a “dead” tree, feeingl the bark, digging under the leaves, smelinlg the peat and experiencing the layers of life, sharing dialog along the way.
A parallel and less complex experience might include a walk along a bike trail, adult with phone in hand, Smart watch being monitored, little dialog taking place, child in a stroller, a sense of urgency pervading all.
Both commendable as time outside with a child. Both are positive experiences yet which allows more connection between parent and child, more authentic interaction? Taking time to communicate supports and enhances getting to know who your child is in a way mere presence does not.
What activities are chosen for children? A balance between the choice of a parent and the child’s choice should be the overall goal. Parameters around appropriate activities such as a certain price range, weather appropriateness etc., can be pre established.
Whose interests are being honored or is the plan to try something new?
I remember taking my children caving (my idea), attending a grass snow machine race (son’s idea) and experiencing a Monster Truck Rally (other son’s idea). These were collaborative decisions and open ended adventures . All fun and new experiences for everyone.
Thoughtful parenting. Authentic interactions. Fun! Go for it!