Your kids need you

Some readers asked me to write about how to get kids out exercising. I could give suggestions about creating games that empower your children, that are fun and inclusive and help to create a love of exercise but today I want you to have a look at yourself as a parent, grandparent or just someone who spends time with those special kids in your life.

We live in a world that gives us so many reasons to point the finger at and blame for why so many of our kids are overweight and unfit. We blame T.V, Playstations, fast foods and the internet for children’s unhealthiness and while these do have something to do with it we need to take a deeper look at our own actions.

Kids require commitment, they can be hard work and they suck up a lot of energy. Sometimes when we are tired because our own life is busy (and everyone’s life is busy these days) it’s easier for us to just let them jump on the net or play the PS3. We justify this to ourselves as we need our ‘own time’ or we need to get ‘stuff’ done. Is this the level of commitment you want to show to your kids?

We need to be able to identify when we are doing this and make choices that create time for fun with exercise. If you commit to putting time aside to exercise with your kids most days of the week, even when you are tired, you will be showing that exercise is an important part of life. You’ll also be showing them that they are important to you, that the ‘stuff’ you need to do can wait.

My daughter isn’t a ‘Sport Billy’ and at times I’ve had to have a rule where her internet time is based on how much time we spend playing basketball or other outdoor games. While at first she resisted my rules, once we are out there she is running around, giving her old man a hard time and enjoying exercise. This is important in her development and the relationship I have with her.

It saddens me to think that some kids will grow up having no experience with fitness. The implications for the world are huge but more importantly it saddens me that you will miss out on this special time to connect with your kids. Make the commitment, you’ll be glad you did. 

Bevan Eyles