Stimulate your children on their own terms
Children are not small adults. They have completely different motivators. But when it comes to the joy of movement, it’s quite simple. If they do not find it fun, they lose interest. We adults can keep going by setting ourselves targets so that we feel good, or change the way we look. The main motivation for children to carry on with a sport or activity is that they think it’s fun, and because it’s something their friends want to do – so that’s something you can exploit. Here are a few tips on how you can get going with your children – on their own terms.
Start with activities they think are fun, and then see if you can lead them to try other movements, exercises or games that you know they will enjoy as much as those they already know. Children like to hang out with their friends, but also like to take part in activities with their siblings and parents. It’s all about engagement, getting everyone to participate and enjoy themselves. In contrast to adults who can stand monotonous repetition (such as running, cycling or swimming) children quickly get bored when nothing new is happening. Instead of just keeping going, try short spurts, body-building exercises with a fun element, and remember that variation is the key to everything you do.
You do not need to be a sporty family to all be able to enjoy some form of activity. There will always be those who hate the thought of having to wear colourful tights and trainers. But enjoying activity together is not about being sporty, its about caring about your health, now and in the future. If you have children who do not feel at home in sporty environments, find other, easily available environments. It could be something as simple as taking a few minutes balancing on an Abilica BalanceBoard Labyrinth as a great way for them to get to know their body and getting active. And who knows? Before even trying to find an organised sport to try out, it’s often important to become confident in your own body first. Training is a gift to the body and mind. No one should be forced and it should not be painful. Have fun with an activity so that children get a positive impression of it, and will naturally want to do it more and more.