Helping kids get active is an important part of good parenting skills, especially in a society that encourages kids to watch TV and play video games.
More and more parents are noticing that their children are inactive and possibly overweight. Poor habits need to be corrected at an early age, because sedentary children typically become sedentary adults. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity is more than three times greater than it was 30 years ago. In the US almost 20% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 can be considered obese.
Overwhelmed Parents and Sedentary Children – How to help kids get active
Overwhelmed parents spend their days rushing from work to cooking to cleaning to errands, and children are sometimes lost in the shuffle. For a working mom who comes home at the end of the day exhausted, it’s tempting to plop the kids in front of the TV just for a little peace and quiet.
But choosing short-term relief can lead to bigger problems in the long run. Sedentary children are likely to develop long-term and some short-term health problems, such as bone and joint problems and low self-esteem.
Battling Childhood Obesity
Battling childhood obesity starts with limiting time in front of the TV or computer. Parents need to strive to be good role models by limiting their own TV watching. Parents can help battle childhood obesity by making small changes in their own behavior, such as walking instead of driving and participating in some form of exercise.
Commit to a certain time for fitting exercise into each day. This can be as simple as a daily walk with the dog after dinner.
Good Parenting Skills
Parents practice good parenting skills when they join in activities with their children. Encourage healthy kids and family fitness by getting involved in a variety of activities. Children love it when parents play with them. A bike ride, a swim or a game of tag will not only encourage active and healthy kids; it will also help the whole family progress toward being healthier, both physically and mentally.
Family Activities to help kids get active
When most people look back on their own childhood, the happiest memories are those spend pursuing activities with the family. Here are some ideas to help break up TV time:
Hiking in the woods
Playing mini golf
Flying a kite
Planting a garden
Help Kids Get Active to benefit the whole family
Getting more physically active benefits both parents and children in many ways. For children, it makes time spent with parents more interesting. For parents, there are major health benefits to being more active. Children don’t stay small for long. Any time parents spend with their children is time well spent.
Role modelling an enjoyment of activity to your kids is a great place to start.