Children are spending less time outdoors, moving less, and sitting more. Screen time now consumes a good portion of children’s days, and it’s your job as a parent to get them moving. If your child seems reluctant to give up their screen time, here are some tips and tricks you may consider:
1. Make it fun- Throw a dance party in your living room. Or try imitating different animals as you jump like a kangaroo or run like a tiger. There’s always a way to excite your child and get them moving.
2. Make it social– Find a sports team for your child to join or invite some neighborhood friends for an afternoon of outdoor games. Not only will this get your child moving, but it will also teach them teamwork and social skills that will benefit them in the long run.
3. Don’t use exercise as a punishment or chore– The moment you punish your child with physical activity, they will resist any attempt you make to engage them with it. Rather than a punishment, use it as a reward. One thing you can do is have your child pick an outdoor toy they would like to buy and earn it through chores. This way, they will feel a sense of accomplishment and be more inclined to go outside and initiate exercise independently.
4. Do the unexpected– Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer activities. Your child may be more excited about swimming indoors when it’s cold outside because it’s a new experience. Hotels, spas, and even gyms often have indoor pools that you can use for a small cost. If your kid loves the idea, use this as a reward for good behavior in the future.
5. Encourage competition– If your child is on a sports team, this will likely come naturally, but there are things you can do to create friendly competition within your family unit. Of course, this competition must be fair to all ages and realistic for everyone’s abilities.
6. Use it for transportation– Instead of driving to your child’s playdate, walk. Take advantage of any opportunity to get your legs moving and smell some fresh air.
7. Break it up– Instead of planning an hour-long sweat session, take homework break with a friendly kickball or hopscotch game depending on your child’s age.
8. Mesh it with their interests– if your child is more creative than sporty, take them for a nature walk and take photos along the way. They’ll be more interested, want to explore more, thus move more in the process.
9. Don’t overdo it– It’s likely been a few years since you were in school, so you’ve probably forgotten how exhausting it is. Going home is a relief, and the freedom to run around or, more likely, sit on the couch and relax is relieving. So, understand your child’s needs and work with them on finding the right balance between being active and relaxing.
Remember, it may take some time for your child to find a physical activity that speaks to them. So, give it time, be patient, and don’t be afraid to try as many things as you have to until you find what clicks. Visit Lipozene.com for more fitness tips!