How To Motivate Your Children To Stay Fit & Active
Your kids won’t like this comparison, but I compare them to puppies or dogs. They both have lots of energy stored inside that needs to be released. It’s unnatural for a dog to laze around inside all day, every day. It needs to go out for walks, stretch its legs and be active. The same holds true for children – it’s not normal or healthy for them to be sedentary and laze around all day.
Unfortunately, many children are growing up in that exact mindset. So, it may take some motivation to encourage them to stay fit and active. As a parent, there are a few things you can do:
Reward positive behaviors
It’s a classic tactic, yet one that works very effectively. Your child does something positive – in this case, is active – and you reward them. It sounds quite bad when you put it like that, but it’s way more subtle than you think!
As an example of rewarding positive behavior, I can look at my childhood. My parents encouraged me to join a soccer team. Whenever I went, we’d end up getting a little treat afterward. This was mainly ice cream! I used to look forward to soccer practice because I knew it also meant ice cream time. At the time, I obviously didn’t realize this was a clever tactic to encourage me to go to soccer practice. But, it definitely worked. Use a similar approach with your kids and they will suddenly be eager to do active things.
Buy them little outfits
Kids are more inclined to do things when they get something out of it. In this respect, buying cool outfits or clothes for your kids can be a smart idea. The aim is that they will be encouraged to be active and play sports if they have cool things to wear and show off to their other friends.
Again, it’s very simple yet strangely effective. There are lots of cute and awesome things you can buy kids to work out in. Also, you could buy yourself a similar or matching outfit. Get both of you a set of Disney socks for working out, some colorful leggings, a matching vest, etc. It makes your child feel like you because you’re wearing the same things! As such, they’re more eager to go out and play.
Figure out what they like
Finally, you need to figure out what your kids actually like. There’s no point forcing them to do activities that they hate. They might grow to like things, but motivation comes easier when there’s already interest present. So, take your kids fishing, do yoga with them, go running, play soccer, play baseball, etc. Go through a range of activities until you find ones your child clearly enjoys. Then, you can focus on these activities and it’s much easier to motivate them.
I’m not saying you need to train your children to be athletes! No, it’s all about ensuring they don’t become couch potatoes. Kids need to be fit and active as it will help avoid health problems later in life. All they need is some added motivation.