It doesn’t take long before your little bundle of joy grows into a lanky and impressionable teenager who may think that their parents are from Mars and probably a bit outdated as far as technology goes. These young men and women are subject to societal and peer pressure and are trying to find their way in the world which gives way too much importance to looking cool than being good. Did you know that 25% of all teens suffer from an anxiety disorder – more girls than boys? 94% of teens have a social media account. There’s a lot going on in that little mind that they may not share with you readily. As a parent, all you can do is say that you are there for them and give them ample opportunities to open up to you.
If your teenager is having a school / college break coming up, one of the most amazing things you can do for them is to ‘de-techify’ and go together on a dive vacation. There are mental and physical benefits for scuba and, if they love it, they’ll get to take up a new life hobby. Here’s why a dive vacation can be great for you and your family:
1. Dives are stress busters
Diving makes you aware of each breath you take. It makes you live in the moment, understand the preciousness of it. You breathe in and breathe out slowly, just like meditation. For your teen, this will be equivalent of leaving all their problems and worries on the surface and diving deep within, discovering a new self. Studies have shown that having a calm and relaxed mind allows you deal with problems in a rational manner without feelings of depression. How valuable can that be both to parents and teenagers!
2. Become your child’s diving buddy
During a lot of dives, you will be paired with a dive partner / buddy. There is a sense of being responsible for each others well being during the dive. Your partner will have to understand what you don’t say and only communicate with gestures. It’ll give you an opportunity to strengthen your communication with your child, even make your own gestures that only the two of you understand. Nothing like having a secret code.
3. Get your dose of happiness
A dive is filled with excitement and awe. Just the opportunity of exploring a world you’ve never seen before gives you an understanding of your place in the universe. Besides, it has been proven that seeing the amazing colours of corals and fishes can have a positive effect on your brain. The intense colours like those on the reefs promote a feeling of being uplifted.
4. Heal with water
Water has many healing effects. Being underwater makes you feel like you are in your mother’s womb which promotes a feeling of security and well being. Being in salt water tends to dehydrate your body which makes you drink more water to make up and replenish your cells. Diving also promotes fitness, lower blood pressure and gain strength and flexibility.
5. Give them a life skill
Most people believe that once you taken your first dive, you are a diver for life. Some take up professional courses from PADI and SSI to move to the next level. Others fall in love to become professional divers and trainers. From marine rescue to undersea archaeology, there are a bunch of courses that can combine your love for diving with a professional course. In any case, diving is a life skill and it can set you on a whole different life path.
There are many wonderful dive sites around India, especially in the Andamans. What’s unique is that Andamans is also home to the only active volcano in South East Asia. This gives the reefs around the Barren island a very unique appearance. The coral and reef life is also rich and diverse. Last but not the least, network connectivity on the island isn’t too high, allowing you time off from tech and giving you ample moments to connect with nature and each other. The spectacular sunsets is the cherry on the cake.
Rathnam Rathnasamy is the Founder of Andaman Holidays. Andaman Holidays is a boutique destination management company in the Andaman Islands specializing in custom tour packages, event organization, yachting, cruise tourism and private flight services.