Picture this: your kids just got home from school. They’re barely through the front door and they’re already clamoring for their phones and tablets. You lose them to the comfort of your couch and the call of the web. You can barely squeeze in a conversation, let alone the idea of exercise.
Many parents have attempted to get their kids to be more proactive and on-the-move to no avail. The trick is to be consistent and to make it enjoyable for them and for you. Here are some tried and tested tips to get your kids moving.
Encourage physical extracurricular activities
Choose a sport or exercise that suits your child’s abilities and interests so they can shake off that morning sluggishness. Think of their temperament. A shy boy might not enjoy team sports but might like taekwondo or tai chi. An active girl might not like yoga but might enjoy tennis or hip hop. Physically active kids usually do better academically since exercise boosts confidence, focus, and fine motor skills. Not only will they be able to move faster, but they’ll be able to think faster as well.
Monitor screen time and encourage lights out an hour before bedtime
Set a number of hours for gadget use per day. Also, get your kids to turn off their electronics at least an hour before bed. The blue light from these devices are proven to interrupt sleep quality which affects cognitive function. The alternative? Encourage them to read physical books, go for a walk, try out journaling or crafts, maybe a weekly family game night. Talk to them openly about the benefits of turning off gadgets so you’re setting guidelines instead of strict rules.
Add active chores to family bonding time
Get your kids involved in cleanliness and chores will get them to be more proactive around the house. Maybe get them to prepare their lunch, help out with dishes, or sort out laundry. Encourage them to declutter their own spaces. If you can join them, all the better. This teaches them to be independent and to value the work that goes into mundane tasks. It also helps them move quicker and be more organized once they get used to the flow.
Subscribe to fitness channels on YouTube
If your child spends a lot of time on their computer, why not put it to good use? There are loads of channels on YouTube dedicated to free home-based workouts. Some are easy and low-impact, others are a little more high intensity. It depends on your preference, and also how much time and energy your kids have to spend. Try to insert a little bit of exercise into their routines, maybe twice a week in the evenings. Who knows, you could even join them, too!
Focus on sleep cycles over bedtime hours
One reason your kids might not be as active could be the time you wake them up. Getting up in between a sleep cycle is so much easier than waking up to a set alarm. A normal sleep cycle lasts around 90 minutes, and a good night’s sleep lasts 5-6 cycles (or 7.5 to 9 hours). If your kids need to sleep later, wake them up at the nearest sleep cycle. Use Sleepyti.me, a sleep calculator that sets your earliest bedtime or wake up call. You’ll be thankful when they wake up less groggy in the morning.
We all know parenting is tough. Your kids are growing smarter, but that just means you can get all the wiser. Check out more tips on Edukasyon PH’s Parent Portal.