In a time when video games, smartphones, and computers are at the peak of their popularity, motivating your children to be more physically active is a talent.
Children are not interested in playing with balls, running, or riding bikes, instead they would much rather spend the day in front of a screen.
However, physical activity, especially for young children who are still developing is extremely important. Physical activity is vital for their health and development.
If you’re struggling to inspire your children to be more active, know that you’re not alone. Many parents have those same problems. And that’s exactly why we’ve gathered all the useful ways that can help you encourage your children to be more physically active.
1. Be an example
Children are little sponges who imitate everything their parents or carers do. Especially children who are mostly surrounded by adults. That’s why it’s up to you to lead by example and teach your children to be physically active from a young age.
Start when they are still young and try to spend less time in front of a TV on a couch, and more time outdoors. Try to swap your car for a bike whenever the opportunity arises, go for walks, spend time on a playground, and so on.
It’s really important that you show them the importance of physical activity and to motivate them to be physically active as much as possible. Be a good role model and you won’t have any problems inspiring your children to be physically active.
2. Do things together as a family
You can’t really be a good role model for your children if you don’t spend enough time with them. We know that the world is a crazy place and finding time to do fun things with your children is tough, but it’s also highly important. Kids love spending time with their parents, so you should always find time and activities that you could all do together.
Let them help you in the backyard with chores appropriate for their age, take them with you when you’re walking the dog, ride bikes often, and also don’t forget to go for walks. Do as many physical activities as you can and do them outdoors in the fresh air.
3. Sign them up for sports
Encourage your kids to try out different sports. They may not find what they like right away and they may change many sports before they find the right one, but that’s ok, at least they are being physically active.
Just make sure that you’re not insisting on sports when they are still very young. Some kid’s sports programs start enrolling kids as young as 2 or 3 which is a bit too young. The best age for a child to start a sport is around 6 years of age. This is the age when they have a better ability to follow directions and have a better understanding of teamwork than when they are 3.
4. Introduce them to different environments
Exposing your children to different environments can be very beneficial for them. Yes, it is always tough in the beginning, for both a child and parent to be separated from each other, but ultimately it’s for a good cause.
Your children will only benefit from different experiences, socializing with other children, and learning new skills and abilities. For example, enrolling them into the welcoming, safe and stimulating environment of West Ryde child care center will help them explore and learn new things, experience new environments, be active and develop important skills necessary later in life.
5. Find a balance
It’s fine that you want to encourage and motivate your children to be physically active, but don’t overdo it. While physical activity is beneficial for children’s development and health it can be counterproductive to force your children to do activities they find difficult and tiring.
If you force them to do something they hate when they are young, they won’t ever do that in the future when they grow up. So, try to find a healthy balance, don’t force them to do something they don’t find interesting, slow down when you see them slowing down, take breaks on certain days, and so on.
The point is to motivate them to be physically active and not to make them hate physical activity.
6. Set limits
If you want your children to be physically active, you will also need to allow them to play video games or watch TV or cartoons online from time to time. Simply, there are things that you can’t completely forbid them from doing when the whole world is doing them.
However, you’ll also need to teach them that spending too much time watching TV or playing games is not healthy. Additionally, set screen time boundaries. Allow them TV and video game time but only as a reward for being active during the day.
The time to watch TV or play games has to be limited. And of course, if they don’t spend time being active outside they don’t get to watch TVor play games!
If you start teaching your children from an early age the importance of being physically active, you won’t have any problems motivating them later when they grow up. Just lead by example and be a good role model, teach them how to play, and also teach them what’s healthy and unhealthy.