My last #activekids blog was all about the benefits children gain from being active. It proved very popular and set my stats on fire! I admitted that it can be hard to tempt my own children away from their screens sometimes, especially my older boys. There are however tricks I use to help me and I wanted to share some of them with you. They’ll be blissfully unaware that you have a plan! It’s always best to be one step ahead of children, isn’t that always the way with parenthood?! So, when you want to be active as a family, how do you get them to switch off, leave the land they’re building on Minecraft and put on their trainers and join you?
My kids love their ‘screens’ as much as anyone else’s. Getting them to turn off their devices and come out on a dog walk isn’t always an easy task. Once they’re out, they love it and don’t want to go back home but sometimes it does take a bit of effort, imagination and ‘motherly persuasion’. It would be much easier to just let them carry on sitting, transfixed but I know how important it is for kids to exercise. There are so many benefits and I’m not just talking about avoiding obesity.
Do your children enjoy exercise? Are they doing enough? Sometimes we have to nurture a love of exercise in our little ones. The current activity guidelines for children age 5 to 18 are that they need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This should be of moderate to vigorous intensity so needs to be something that gets their heart racing and makes them out of breath. On three days a week this should include an activity that strengthens muscles and bones. Under 5s should be active for at least 180 minutes a day but this can include lighter activities too. Have a look here for the NHS guidelines and suggestions about how to achieve this.
‘Can you phone Mrs X, her child can’t poo and she doesn’t know what to do’. This is a fairly common message I get at work. What is worse is that when I phone mum or dad to get the whole story I can usually hear a child screaming in pain in the background. It breaks my heart, it’s agony for them. It can catch all of us out; I’ve been there more than once with more than one of my children! So when it’s been a few days and your little one is sore and crying and can’t poo, what can you do?