Show Your Kids the Way

16 Nov

All around us, society is focused around modern conveniences that in turn have made us all very lazy.  As a result, obesity in America is spiraling out of control, especially in our children.

What continues to amaze me is that I rarely see kids running and playing around in my neighborhood or riding their bikes.  Things have greatly changed since I was a child.  I remember running all over the place.  Playing dress up, climbing trees, playing kick-the-bucket after dark, swimming, golfing with my grandparents, riding my bike, running the Canal Caper and the Sage-N-Sun Fun Runs, shooting hoops and playing around the world with my Dad.  I had an active childhood, one I thank my parents for very much.  I was active because they were active.  They taught me that entertainment can come without a T.V.,  a computer or video games.  In fact, I remember, they would purposely disconnect the cable during the summer time so my sister and I wouldn’t sit and watch T.V. all day.  I was encouraged to use my imagination. 

I share this with you all because I want to remind each and every one of you who is a parent that it is your responsibility to get your children active.  You can’t complain that you child(ren) sit in front of the T.V, computer or play video games all the time if you provide those things to them.  Our children are products of who we are.  If your child(ren) can’t seem to find something to do that is active and productive without the technology, simply take it away and become active in your child’s life.  Yes, you have to do it too.  It isn’t a one way street. 

This weekend, I thought about this post quite a bit.  I thought about what message I am sending to my kids.  So far, I think I am doing well.  Yes, they enjoy watching a movie off of Netflix, but we don’t have cable and they only get to watch on the weekends.  During the week, my oldest son is busy with school work, reading buddies and gymnastics.  My youngest son, is constantly busy playing with his trucks and super heroes and dressing up as Spider Man, Bat Man or Super Man.  He is very imaginative. Did I mention they constantly wrestle too?  As far as how they eat, they eat what my husband and I eat.  They don’t really know any different.  They seem to do pretty good about making good choices when it is snack time and boy do the enjoy and appreciate a treat when they get to have one.

So you ask, “How do I get my kids active?” My answer… Make exercise a family event and you don’t even have to call it exercise if that word gets your kiddos all upset and crabby.  For example, go for a walk or hike and collect cool things you find on the way or go to the park and play.  At home, you can have races.  Make it fun.  In our house, we like to race walking on our hands and feet like crabs, or doing the walrus walk on our hands with our feet dragging behind us. During the fall and spring time, it is perfect to have them come out and help you in the yard.   If the weather is cold and there is snow on the ground, build a snow fort, go sledding or have a snowball fight.   If you have a gym you are a member of, sometimes they have family hours.  The gym Manuel  and I attend have swimming, basketball and racquetball courts, a track and more which is plenty to keep us busy with the boys.  The best thing about it, is they love it!  They love spending the time with us and they love the activities.  We find that when they get to use all that energy up, they seem to behave better.  They aren’t whiney or bored or restless.  They also sleep great! We sure do love nap time after a day at the Rec. Center (all of us!)

I am not saying to turn your child(ren) into die-hard athletes or competitors, just get them active and show them a way to live a happy, healthier life.  This lesson is one of the greatest lessons you can teach your child(ren).  A lesson that will stick with them throughout their entire lives.  In the process of teaching them, you might just start feeling better yourself!

Until next time, do something active with your kids.  You won’t regret it!


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