The lives of children today are all about experiencing everything virtually. A network of friends has been replaced by a virtual social network and real sports have been replaced by virtual video game fun. Parents, of course, have quite a time, worrying about their children’s fitness and health. Finding a way to get their kids away from their computers and out into the real world has turned into quite a challenge for parents.
Here are a few ideas that parents find useful trying to get their children a little more interested in real activity as opposed to activity that merely uses their thumbs and their index fingers.
You can’t get a young person to be interested in your ideas in kid health unless you set a great example yourself of how great it can be to go outside and experience the world through activity. Parents need to take in a bit of walking, running and playing themselves to try to inspire their children. Kids under 17 need at the very least an hour of moderately-paced fitness activities every day.
On top of that, young people need a good bit of vigorous working out too – football playing, or rope jumping. Parents with young children who might be interested in childish activities like playing catch might succeed in luring their children out with a family game like that. The important idea there would be to frame the whole thing as a fun activity and not as something they should do for their health. Parents need to do it the way children would try to persuade one another to come out for a game. They aren’t interested in any health benefits; they just want to have some fun.
A great way to set the pace for a little children’s fitness in the household would be to take away the negative influences – ones that make it hard for your child try to venture out in the first place. That would mean limiting their time in front of any kind of entertainment screen – a television, computer, a video game, or a smartphone (aren’t you surprised that there are four different kinds of screens that can absorb your child’s attention everyday?).
When your children do play their video games, try to get them interested in action-based games that would actually need them to move – with a Microsoft Kinect or a Wii. And get them sports video games or dance video games. They’ll feel a whole lot better prepared when you ask them if they would like a little activity outside.
Parents often forget how powerful routines can be once you establish them. Most often, a child is reluctant to go outside and play just because he isn’t really used to it. People are creatures of habit; they just hate to do anything that isn’t something they do already. Get your child interested enough to participate in a kid health program a month or so, and he’ll be quite willing to take the idea and run himself. Literally, and figuratively.
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