It seems like all kids do these days is watch TV, play video games, and surf the net. All activities famous for the amount of sitting they involve, and our children can’t be bothered to do much more.
This isn’t the truth for all children, however, by any means. It take an active effort on the side of parents to get children up and active, but it’s possible. Here are 5 tips for doing just that.
1. Set Limits
First thing is first–you’re a parent, so act like one. Now, I don’t mean to offend you and this might not even apply, but too many parents these days simply won’t say when enough is enough. And many kids have had far more than their share of sedentary living. So set a limit. Restrict the time allowed sitting in front of a television set, no matter what the activity, and give a time allowance for this kind of stuff. Watching movies or playing games is not always a bad thing, and there are actually mental benefits derived from many video games, but it’s the excess that makes it unhealthy.
2. Set an Example
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the trend for children to be more sedentary isn’t confined to them–it’s the general population that has become lazier and more obese. If you want your kids to develop healthy habits, you need to set a healthy example. Eat better, be more active, get regular exercise…you know the drill–it’s actually doing it that so many of us struggle with.
3. Encourage Active Hobbies
Repetitive, disciplined exercise is a challenge for any of us, and that especially applies to children. But people naturally take to active hobbies they can become engaged in. Help your children to find the hobbies that appeal to them, and then encourage them to give those hobbies more of their time. This not only gives them more exercise (assuming they are somewhat active pastimes) but also gives them a chance to develop passions that can lead to a lifetime of joy.
4. Plan Day-trips
One great way to stay active is just to get out and about, and it’s a must to make regular day-trips a part of your family’s routine. This can include going to the beach, checking out museums, going to a water park, slapping on some roller-skates, bowling–the list goes on and on. Sure, not every parent has the time or the money, but most of these things are cheap enough to do every once in a while.
5. Give Them Chores
But your kid’s hate chores, right? So what! This goes back to modern parents forsaking their responsibility to take charge. Giving your kids chores to do isn’t some way to punish them just for being alive. It contributes directly to their well-being. Teaching good work habits, responsibility, and discipline prepares them for adulthood, and the earlier you start on that the better. You may even want to introduce some financial incentive and teak them money management early on as well.