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Being a parent to a child is not an easy task. As time and technology continues to advance, children are less motivated to be active, choosing instead to stay inside on their screens.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a number of health and behavioral issues and can affect their development into adulthood. As a parent, you are responsible for doing everything you can to motivate your child to be active.
The way to do so will vary between children, but here are some ways you can try to motivate your child to lead an active lifestyle.
Make the Activity Fun
Children love to have fun, and as a parent, watching your children enjoy themselves is very rewarding. Making any physical activity fun for your child will encourage them to continue taking part in it. There are numerous ways you can do this, such as through playing games as a family, inviting your child’s friends over for group activities, enrolling your child in a sports team, or purchasing items, like a trampoline, for the backyard.
Use Your Child’s Interests
Using your child’s interests, and incorporating them into exercise, is a great way to keep them motivated. For example, if they like sports, play their favorite sport with them or encourage them to join a team. If they like music, encourage them to dance or sign them up to a dance class. If they like animals, choose an animal-based hobby (like horseback riding) or consider getting a dog, as it’ll need regular exercise.
Add it into Their Routine
We all crave routine and this definitely applies to children. Creating a fun and simple 30-minute exercise routine at home after school will be a great way to ensure exercise happens daily. If this isn’t possible, consider signing them up for an after school program. This Skillastics guide gives you an idea of what these entail. If your child exercises immediately after school, he or she will have the rest of the evening to rest, do homework, eat dinner, watch TV and socialize.
Give Them Physical Chores
Chores aren’t fun for us, let alone children, but they are a great way to teach responsibility, to help children understand how to look after themselves, and for them to earn their keep. Making your child do physical chores will ensure they are getting exercise while helping out around the house. For example, you could get them to mop or vacuum the floors, mow the lawn, or help wash the car.
A Reward Based Structure
Rewards are a brilliant and highly effective way to motivate your child. You can incorporate rewards into all of the above. You can do so by giving them pocket money for completing chores. You can reward them with a treat or prize if they excel in an after school physical activity program or a class/team they have signed up for. The rewards will make any physical activity worthwhile for a child.
There are many reasons why you should encourage your children to be active. It will keep their insides healthy, will reduce the risk of obesity, and it will keep their minds happy. Exercise encourages your child to be more social and enjoy life in a unique and highly beneficial way.