As much as you want your kids to be safe and happy online, you don’t want them to spend all their time indoors chatting with friends, playing games, or studying. While these activities can help them prepare for school and make friends at college, it isn’t entirely healthy. To combat this, you need to encourage them to get up and be more active. However, some kids aren’t as blessed with athletic ability as others, meaning it can be a struggle. So how can you help them be more active?
Make Activity Normal
Kids are more likely to enjoy activities if you normalize them. They don’t want you to drag them out of the house early on a Sunday morning to run around the park. They would much prefer to get some extra hours in bed, so what can you do?
You could make walking or cycling to school the norm, especially if you live close enough to make it viable at any time of the year. Not only will this normalize activity, but it will also get them the crucial exercise they’d otherwise miss if they sat in the car for the quick journey.
Even better, model activity for them! Make sure YOU are walking. Let them see YOU moving, taking a class, and enjoying exercise. Your actions speak louder than your words. Parenting words to live by, right?
Introduce Them to New Sports
Many parents want their kids to play basketball, football, soccer, or any of the great American pastimes. However, not all kids enjoy these sports. That doesn’t mean they won’t find a sport that interests them.
There are numerous less obvious sports that could excite your child, whether you choose team sports or individual activities. Sometimes, it’s just about checking out the local club and seeing what they have to offer. Your child might find something they adore. Two of my kids did Kung Fu for YEARS. One is now exploring and enjoying ice skating. Another does cheer. I once tried hula hooping classes. There’s something out there for everyone!
Invest In Their Hobbies
Your kids will need you to invest in their hobbies if you want them to succeed. This means getting your wallet out and spending some money to get them the right gear. If they’ve shown a passion for soccer, cleats, pads, and Goalkeeper Gloves are all possible investments, while hockey will require sticks and even ice skates if they prefer to play on the ice.
This investment doesn’t just improve your child’s chances of success. It also means they will enjoy it more and feel like you care, making them more likely to stick with the sport as they grow up. You never know, with enough support and investment, they could go pretty far.
Backing up a bit, I actually made my kids ask to try a new activity for at least a year before I invested our TIME into it. And I would look for a low-cost way for them to try it out because many activities ARE so equipment or time intensive. I suggest doing that first before diving in head first!
Show Them the Benefits of Activities
If your children are still resistant to any activity, you can show them the benefits of sports by proving how much they have helped you. They might feel like they can’t live up to your ability or accomplishments, so make them forget about that by focusing on the health benefits.
Speaking to them about maintaining a healthy lifestyle can encourage them to see the ongoing benefits of exercise and sports. They don’t need to become superior athletes. They just need to do enough to stay healthy throughout their lives.
Active kids are happy kids and the sooner you introduce them to the benefits of running around, breaking a sweat, and getting their heart racing, the more they’ll enjoy it. While they may not gravitate to traditional activities, there are still plenty of others to try.