Kids today don’t move around as much as we used to as kids. Remember how we used to go outside after breakfast and not come home until the streetlights came on. Saturday mornings Mom would open the door and say, “Go outside and Play”.
Kids today say , “Play what?”
Times are different, they sure are. Now the Center for Disease Control recommends that kids ages 6-17 get a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily, and research shows only 24% of children meet that standard.
Today in many households both parents work, kids are left with electronics as caretakers in their absence, it’s just the way it is. We are all busy; we are all tired.
But the way it is can change, it’s pretty simple.
Movement can relieve stress, and improve our focus, for all of us, not just the kids. Exercise can build confidence and self esteem in kids as well as boost their mental health.
Teaching your kids, no matter what age, to move regularly sets them up for a healthier life.
Kids sit an awful lot. They sit on the way to school, then most of the day in class, then they sit to do homework, watch tv and play video games. See the problem?
Now I will admit, getting kids to do something they don’t want to do can be trouble, but, sometimes, parenting isn’t the easiest job. Our role is to help them grow into healthy, good, responsible humans.
I am not going to suggest what to do, as each family and child is different, but I will offer a few tips. The adults in the house can benefit from this too.
Make it fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be sets and reps. Focus on having fun and using your imagination. As an example, I spent several weeks this summer with my daughter and two grandkids. Briann, who is eight, wanted to play “mermaids” in the pool - two hours we played mermaids. We were both moving, I slept great that night
Get excited YOURSELF. Kids will mirror you. If you get excited and are engaged they will be too.
3. Let the kids lead the activity. Let them make up the game and you all play along.
4. Start small. At first, keep it short, no time limit. Take a walk after dinner. Or a short bike ride. Throw around a ball or a frisbee. Just get moving. The more you do this, the more the kids will enjoy it, and the time will lengthen organically.
If the kids are moving you win! KEEP AT IT!
We have to help these kids develop healthier movement habits, so they do not fall into the trap I am seeing in adults in their thirties and forties, who have a hard time getting off the chair and moving.
Hope this helps..