Most kids simply love being active. They tend to move around a lot, always looking for some new activity they could pursue. While such behavior makes some parents uncomfortable, it’s vital to understand that physically active kids are much more likely to be healthy than those who are inactive. That’s why it’s very important to let our kids be active and encourage such behavior.
First of all, as they get older, they’ll have fewer chances of being active, either because of increasing demands at school or their busy families. Next, they might realize they’re not as good as their friends at particular activity, which could damage their motivation. Finally, they might end up without friends who like being active and, consequently, join them in avoid any kind of physical activity. How do we prevent that from happening?
1. Finding the right activity
One of the most important things is to find an activity that is both age-appropriate and enjoyed by your kid. There’s no point in forcing them to do a sport they aren’t interested in. On the other hand, if they seem interested and notice improvement in the way they do a particular activity, they’ll be highly motivated to keep up the good work. If you notice they’re losing focus and don’t enjoy a particular activity any more, make sure you can offer an alternative.
2. Talk to your child’s doctor
If you’re not sure about what activity is the best for your kid, you might want to consult your kid’s doctor, who can suggest a sport or activity for your little one. They can take into account the physical state and any health issues your kid might have before making recommendation. Also, a doctor knows what activity is developmentally appropriate.
3. Plan well
Physical activities need to be planned, especially once school starts and other obligations have to be taken on. Give your child enough time to be physically active throughout the year instead of trying to squeeze as many non-physical activities in their schedule. Consider your involvement, i.e. whether you’ll have to drive them to practice sessions, for example and make a realistic plan.
4. Motivate them
You need to praise your child for every attempt at being more physically active. They may be too young to appreciate the fact that such activities are beneficial to their health, but you know you’re doing the right thing. So, try to keep the motivated by praising them or purchasing some cool equipment or clothes, such as custom-made basketball jerseys, with their name on the back. They are bound to be proud wearing them and will be much more likely to remain active.
5. Be their role model
Children look up to their parents, especially while they’re still young. So, if your child sees that you are active, they’ll be more likely to follow suit. That’s why you should allocate some of your time to being physically active and be a true role model for your kid. Ideally, you can find an activity that you can both enjoy, such as swimming or cycling.
6. Limit computer use
Many kids today spend countless hours in front of all types of screens, which has extremely detrimental effects on their health. To begin with, they become overweight and their muscles and bones don’t develop properly. That is the reason why every parent should limit the time their kids spend in front of computers, TVs, tablets and phones.
7. Don’t put too much pressure on them
Your kid doesn’t need to be an Olympic medallist and probably will never make it to the national team, since only few succeed and you have to be aware of this. So, remember that exercise and physical activity should not hurt. Your kid must not overdo it or they’ll get injured, demotivated and they can easily fall behind at school.
8. Balanced diet
Apart from encouraging them to be physically active, you also need to pay great attention to what your kid is eating. Make sure they acquire healthy habits from the earliest age, but remember that it’s never too late to start leading a healthy life. Your kid’s diet should be balanced and appropriate for their age.
Motivating your kid to be more active will bring many benefits to them. They’ll be healthier and have much more self-confidence, which is vital when it comes to their upbringing. However, we can’t expect them to have all those healthy habits if we, parents, don’t instil them.