With the entry of a TV set in each bedroom and computers in each household, these have resulted in children becoming less active. Instead of indulging in outdoor activities they prefer to sit and watch the material of TV or computer during the available time, resulting in making them couch potatoes and obesity is spreading like an epidemic. In addition to the screen which attracts the children, there are lots of pressures on the minds of children which reduce enthusiasm in them and they are facing many problems both during childhood and also during later life.
To have a healthy child who is well educated, groomed, disciplined and mixes up well in society is the desire of all parents as such it becomes more and more necessary to encourage the child to lead an active life. To enable the child to learn to do so, it is essential to create the appropriate atmosphere.
To increase activity in the life of the child it is necessary for the parents to make it a fun activity. A study of psychology of children reveals the universal fact that children are fun loving. Introduction of fun factor in the activity of the child will have instantaneous result and the activity level can be increased a number of times in this manner. To increase the activity level of the child it is essential to:
- Increase activity in your own life and set an example for the child.
- It will be better to practically do what you want your child to do. The easiest example could be climbing stairs in your apartment block instead of using a lift. If you do this activity in the presence of the child it is natural that after a few days the child will also start climbing using stair. You can explain to the child that due to your age you can climb only one floor and since he is a young boy he can climb more floors.
- Make the exercise schedule in a way that the child understands that outdoor activity and games is better than watching TV soaps and playing computer games.
- To increase activity of the child, as far as possible, the whole family should get involved. Go together for cycling, hiking, and swimming and make the child the team leader. Slowly you will find that the child is taking more and more interest and his activity level is increasing.
Never make exercise or activity a burden for the child by making it compulsory and making rigid rules to be followed. Never punish the child if he has broken a rule of exercise or activity. Punishment will make him find excuses just like homework which most children dislike to do. They often consider homework as a punishment or unwanted work after school.
Interest of the children continues to shift with age. Small kids may be more interested in playing police and thief game and so on. If you ask the child of kindergarten age to play this type of game with you he will readily agree and will come immediately instead of playing cricket or soccer. However a high school going kid will want to play cricket or soccer. To make the child active, if you have space in backyard, you can set up a pitch to play with children. In case of lack of space use your garage where the chances of breaking something are less.
Thus to begin with, to make your child active, maximum initiative is required from the parents. If you are active, you can be a role model for the child. Once the activity becomes a routine in the life of the child, it will become a long lasting habit and much effort will not be needed in this regard and the child will be always more than ready to be active in life. A thing that needs to be remembered is that there should not be excessive indulgence. If the child is already having lots of physical activity in school on regular days he should not be forced to be part of outdoor games after school hours as he will like to have rest and force may prove counterproductive.