I have a contributed post today, all about keeping your kids active:
As a parent, it’s natural to want the best for your kids and to encourage them to do well, but it’s also natural to want to protect and nurture them if there’s something that they don’t want to do or is bothering them.
For most parents, the line between pushing our kids that little extra bit for their own good, and letting them decide what they want can be pretty fine at times.
It’s absolutely important that we listen to our kids and support them – we can’t expect them to be enthusiastic about everything we ask them to do because, like us, they’re individuals, and we have to find a middle ground for compromise.
On the other hand, sometimes we do genuinely know what’s best for kids when they don’t, and we do have to take on the responsible role and put our foot down.
One of these times is absolutely when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our children, and as we all know, a big part of health is diet and staying active.
Most kids have far more energy than us adults, to the point where they could literally outrun us in a marathon, but as much as they have energy, they’re not robots, so they won’t always feel like going outside to play, or doing some sports.
We have to be able to encourage them to stay committed to things, even on the days when they don’t really feel like it, because as much as we also like the odd day on the couch watching Netflix, we have to teach our kids that they can’t just go through life doing only the things they feel like.
When they’re older, they need to have a good work ethic and go to work even when they can’t be bothered. If we give in to their every little whim now as children and allow them to constantly drop out of things, then they won’t have this work ethic as adults, so it’s not only important for them now in regards to their health, but also for their future as successful adults who contribute to society.
Here are a few really fun sports you can encourage your child to get involved in. Not only are they fun and help them stay fit, but if you start early enough, then you may find your child has a real talent for these sports that can lead to much bigger things.
This is always a favourite with children because most of them love to swim, anyway. Swimming is a great thing to teach young children as early as possible, because they will be very fit and healthy, become strong swimmers, which is good for safety reasons, and the earlier they start, the more likely they will develop a real passion and commitment to the sport:
If you ever watch the Olympics, you’ll see that this is highly dominated by young people. They have been on the Gymnast beams since very early ages, and have developed amazing skills and strengths, not only body wise, but mentally, and they are very driven and focused on what they do.
This is a sport that is also best when learned as early as possible, and although it’s more popular in some countries as opposed to others, it’s definitely gaining in popularity recently. It’s a sport that you can do with your kids together as a family, and if you see them showing signs of talent or passion, then you can certainly look at hiring a tennis coach to work with them and hone their skills, both mentally and within the game.
What sorts of activities did you like when you were a child? We did a lot of walks and bike rides as a family, and on holiday we would swim or hire kayaks. One of my favourite clubs at school was the country dancing club, although I didn’t like the orange skirts wee had to wear! What do you think it available in your area? The first junior parkrun has just been launched in Hertfordshire, and I think it is brilliant. I have put an item on the school newsletter about it as I think it is so important for families to be active together, or just being outside in the fresh air. Plus the ethos of parkrun is to join in, or watch, and it is in no way pushy. I think that forcing children to do something they don’t like causes far more damage in the long run.
We are also having a big push at work because studies have shown that most children do not reach the required 3 hours of activity per day- they are far more sedentary now.