As an active mom, I often wonder what my little one will enjoy as she gets older. Secretly, I hope she likes to run and/or cycle. Where my husband is, not so secretively, hoping she enjoys swimming or soccer! But really when it comes down to it, we want to enable her to experience many activities and decide for herself what brings her joy. Instead of being forceful, we want to allow her to explore and discover herself. Figure out what she likes and dislikes.
So the question may then be, “How do I encourage my kids to get active and discover what they like to do?” Today, I am going to share three ideas with you.
1) Let your kids be themselves
This is the most important thing to remember! As parents of young kids, we are able to take our knowledge of our children to guide us in deciding what we should expose them to. We also have the privilege of pushing them outside of their comfort zone on occasion. However, we also should acknowledge they may not have the same likes as us or other family members. We get to aid them in embracing themselves while discovering how they like to get active.
2) Get them involved in what you do
While letting the kids be themselves does not mean you can’t include them in what you do. Really you should include them in what you do. We parents get to be role models. If they can’t run yet put them in a stroller. Or if they don’t like to run let them ride their bike or roller blade. Ask them to come support you at a race where they get to see the community. Seeing your dedication to your health and fitness will inspire them. It will help them think about the different possibilities they could do. Keep in mind sharing verbally about why you like your sport or lessons you have learned in your training sessions are wonderful tools as well.
3) Expose them to other options
Getting your kids involved in different things is a must! Think beyond just signing them up for a different sport each season. Try things out like: going to different sport events to watch, having game night at home that include physical activities or read stories where characters try different hobbies. Go beyond thinking just of regional activities as well. Things like tennis, polo, lacrosse can be fair game too.
With my first little one now here, and as a former teacher, it is my mission to aid children in discovering and owning what makes them unique through fitness and play. A lot of that comes down to empowering parents and educators to expose the kids to different experiences and learning environments. Helping adults to realize these three main points above is where it all starts! If you would like to learn more, get involved, or simply encourage your children to get active, I ask you to check out www.TotallyForMe.com where I share more information about what I am up to!
Comment below sharing with us: How do you encourage your kids to get active?
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