No time of year tests work/family juggling act for a working Mum quite like the school…
Teach Your Kids to Get Off the Couch
We will all agree that it can be really hard to focus in today’s era of the Internet and outstanding technological developments, when everything is just one click away. The same goes for our kids, who are completely smitten with their tablets and smartphones they can’t live without, which is a really disturbing fact. If you think so too, just stay with us and keep on reading if you want to know how to get your kids off the couch. Here are five tips you may find useful.
Limit screen time
First things first, you should definitely limit their screen time to no more than one to two hours a day – no matter if we’re talking about watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the Internet. The fact that many children spend four hours or more in front of a screen every day is absolutely devastating, so be sure to put that to an end and let your kids know that such a lifestyle is unhealthy. Their passive pastime should be replaced with physical activities, like riding a bike, running around at your local playground, or even walking your dog on a daily basis.
Encourage them to walk everywhere…
One of the easiest ways to get your kids moving is to encourage them to walk everywhere. This can be a really amazing experience especially if your hometown offers some amazing landscapes or even beaches. There is nothing more beautiful than a picturesque sunrise at the beach, and your kids will definitely love the view – even though they will have to get up really early to catch it. Apart from the obvious advantages when it comes to their physical health, a long walk is also beneficial in terms of mental health – it will help your kids clear their minds and feel at peace.
… And make sure to track their steps
Once you get your children to like their morning walks, you should start tracking their steps, too. You can either use a regular pedometer or any free fitness tracker app for this purpose, since both of these options are more than great. You should start by setting a particular fitness goal, and then walk your way towards achieving it. When that’s done, you should set a new one for next week and motivate your children to give their best to accomplish it. You can also challenge them to beat the number of steps they took yesterday – the possibilities are truly infinite!
Play games you enjoyed as a child
Even though you probably think that you’ve outgrown particular physical activities you enjoyed as a child, you are quite wrong! Being a kid one more time can benefit you more than you can possibly imagine, so don’t be afraid to get involved in any kind of activity with your children. You can always use games as a chance to bond with them even more, and trust us that they’ll love spending time with you outside. Family relay races are always a good idea, as well as shooting hoops at your local playground if that’s what you enjoy more. Of course, it’s essential that all of you have fun to the max, because that’s what counts!
Think outside the playing field
Needless to say, there are a lot of activities you can engage in outside the playing field. The fact is that not everyone is interested in or talented at sports like basketball, soccer, or baseball, which is exactly why you should be more creative and come up with different solutions. Martial arts and rock climbing are an amazing option if your kids are into something a bit more unconventional, whereas swimming and dancing are among the most beneficial activities that contribute to developing their motor skills and help them grow into healthy young adults. Skateboarding is also an amazing choice if your girl or boy loves to play it cool – just get a mini cruiser for them and let them cruise around with their friends. You can even join them on your own, if that’s your cup of tea!
As you can see, getting your kids off the couch doesn’t have to be as tricky as you probably think. All you have to do is teach them there are a lot of fantastic possibilities out there that don’t include a smartphone, tablet, or a TV. Once they realise that nature offers so much, they will completely fall in love with it!
Samantha Olivier is a mother of two and a fitness blogger running a small health/fitness site called Ripped.me. She has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter, or in a tea shop.