There is so much press slinging round words such as ‘childhood obesity’ that alarm bells are already ringing in many people’s ears. Whether it’s due to diet, different lifestyles or whatever the worrying fact remains that children’s health and fitness levels are comparatively poor to the previous generation. Now when we consider that the perceived standard of life has increased that is a sad state of affairs.
Part of the reasoning behind this can be put down to many people, adults included, leading much more sedentary lifestyles with less physical activity and lots of sitting in front of screens. Kids are subject to TVs, computer games, social media, smartphones, games on smartphones, computers in schools the list goes on and on. This can be rectified by simply getting children more engaged in physical activities. These don’t necessarily have to even be classed as sports but the battle is how? How do you get children interested? You can’t just force an interest on them and if they don’t want to be doing something they won’t get the most out of it and they won’t want to continue it once the parental pressure gets less.
Find What Interests Them
Take note of the things your children say, or watch or play. Maybe you’ve been trying to get the children into the school sports activities for years and they just aren’t interested. You might notice that there is something else that excites them you hadn’t really noticed before or considered as something for them to do. They could like breakdancing or skateboarding or they might like the outdoors and so just going for walks in the forest might be exactly what would peak their interest. Look for clues as to what interests your children and think about how you can make this become something which gets them active. In addition to this you could try to introduce them to new things. Take them along to a sporting match and try out ones which even you yourself wouldn’t go. You might find something which creates a spark in their mind and triggers something they never even knew was there.
There are a lot of merits attributed to healthy competition between children. Some kids enjoy this side of activities more than the sport itself. You can use this to help drive the will to take part in activities if you witness this trait in your children. They might find a sport as a means to channel this competitive spirit which might override their initial reactions to not wanting to do something. Take children along to fairly awarded sporting events. I remember being quite shy and unwilling to play football at cub scouts when I was a child because I was from a different group of friends. But then when we started doing well in the tournament and actually went on to win it I remember the feeling of confidence I had the following year when our village hosted it. That almost triggered my love to play football. I remember they gave out cheap but high quality trophies complete with trophy engraving stating Cub Scout Regional Champions (I forget the year…ahem) and I genuinely still have it to this day.