I don’t know exactly when it happened, but sometime between my childhood and my adulthood kids stopped being as active as they use to be. There are probably a lot of reasons for it. Times have changed and parents feel less safe letting their kids play outside. The foods kids eat today have more saturated fat and hormones than before, not to mention the sugar content.
But the biggest difference between kids now compared to kids of my youth revolves around the incredible world of electronics and social media. T.V., video games, YouTube, cell phones, Netflix, tablets; there is seemingly no end to the electronic distractions for kids (adults too.)
No doubt kids are much more in tune with electronics these days than I was when I was a kid. Even my one year old son Caleb knows how to swipe my phone in order to find the game app he’s looking for! No wonder kids would rather stay in the house, they have so many distractions that outside seems boring by comparison.
As an author of a sports themed picture book (Sporty Lou: Soccer King), it was important for me to show the main character (Sporty Lou) having fun playing sports in the backyard with his dad. Besides the great bonding moment, the simple image of showing kids having fun being engaged in physical activity is so important.
It’s just too easy for kids nowadays to become stagnant and stationary. According to a great article I read on heathychildren.org only 1/3 kids are physically active everyday. No coincidence this same article shows that overweight kids have a 70% chance of turning into overweight adults. But despite this disheartening news there are things we can do as parents to change this direction.
My father used to say that youth is wasted on the young. When you’re a kid is when you’re the most energetic that you will be in your entire life. I want to encourage kids not to waste this time. Let’s pick up a healthy spirit of activity.
Here are 3 easy tips to get your kids moving.
#1. Turn of the T.V. Sometimes kids just need a little less distraction in order to become naturally more active.
#2. Be a role model of activity. If kids see you being active it’s much more likely they will want to do the same.
#3. Find something fun for them to do. Sports, dance class, martial arts, or just some time spent in the pool on a hot summer’s day.
Whatever the activity you should check with your pediatrician to make sure your child is safe and healthy enough to participate, and that the two of you are making healthy choices. Stay active, stay healthy.
Author, Multicultural Children’s Books