Inspiring and motivating your kids to do anything in the age of the Internet is nearly impossible. It is also almost impossible to have them put down their mobile phones, iPads, Ipods, and laptops and go outside to play. They live in a time when playing with your friends means playing computer games and watching TV; so is it possible to inspire your kids to take up an activity that actually involves physical activity, running, dancing, and working out?
Boys and girls alike love superheroes, and it might be a good idea to propose they work out to become like Batman or Superman. They already know that their favorite costumed characters have spent countless hours preparing for special missions and tasks by working out, so why don’t they give it a try? In their simple games they could try jumping over chairs, running fast as lightning in the park, and be the fastest swimmer. By turning exercise into a game you are bringing it closer to them, and they will grow to like it more and more as time passes.
Having an attitude that exercise is non-negotiable will get you a long way. Let’s face it: children don’t always want to exercise, even when they actually enjoy it. They will want to stay home and watch TV instead, but you should not negotiate it just as you don’t negotiate teeth-brushing and buckling a seatbelt when in a car. Exercise is good for them, it’s healthy, and makes them feel good both physically and emotionally, and later on in life when they get more self-conscious about the way they look, they will be grateful you taught them the value of workouts at such an early age.
Praise their efforts
Children of all ages (and most adults as well come to think of it) love being told they did a good job after they make an effort. Telling them they were great while they exercise, that they are strong and growing stronger each day, and that they are faster than they were last time makes them happy and motivates them to keep going. This is especially the case with children who have been inactive for a long time and who are uncoordinated. Praising them and acknowledging the effort they put into reaching small goals will give them strength.
Support and encourage them
There are children who are simply born to become professional athletes some day, and if they love being active and playing sports it’s even better. There are certain skills that need to be worked on, and if you see in your child a desire for progress and recognize motivation and ambition, you should stand by their side and encourage them to pursue their dreams. Hire a personal trainer if you see that they are willing to work more than they already do, and this will encourage them do develop their skills and talents even more.
Set a good example
If you would like your child to be healthy and active, you will not do much about it by sitting in front of a TV or a computer and eating pizza and burgers every other night. You should also take up an activity or a hobby and show them how to commit to something and stick to their decision. If you are working out yourself, you can show them a few tricks and have energy and time to play with them after school. By working out with your child you are spending quality time together and bonding over something you are both passionate about.
We all want our children to be happy in the first place, and by enabling them to pursue their dreams and grow up to be healthy and responsible adults we are allowing them to be just that: happy. By being active in their childhood they are acquiring good habits that are going to stick to them later on in life.