Keeping children active in a world where technology runs rampant is hard.
It is growing ever more difficult to keep our children from becoming slugs on the couch glued to whatever digital device they happen to have in their hands. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy technology and gaming myself. However, there needs to be a line drawn when your children get winded simply walking up the stairs one level to use the bathroom. Keeping children active has become a hard thing to do in today’s technologically advanced world. How can we get them more engaged without seeming too pushy and upsetting the balance of harmony in the home?
Tips for keeping children active:
1. Outside Time - During the spring and summer months, we go outside as a family for at least an hour. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s outside. Most of the time, we play with our dogs in the park. However, there have been numerous water fights to happen thanks to my spouse and the water-guns we usually walk outside with. Although the time limit is usually set for an hour at the minimum, there are often times when we wind up spending the entire day outdoors playing in the yard.
2. Shut them Down - During school nights, we usually turn off the electronics by seven o’clock for everyone – myself included. Most of the time, the younger children read in their rooms. However, the older children tend to go outside and horse play. Sometimes a board game or two will make its way to the table. Although I enjoy electronics myself, I am trying to demonstrate to my children that life is more than merely pixels on a display.
3. Chores - Another rule we usually implement is that if you want to play a game system, there are chores that need to be done first. Whether this is cleaning a bedroom, living room, dishes, taking out the trash, or any of the other random things we have within the home, it’s all about keeping ourselves moving. Constant activity can burn away calories and stave off obesity as long as you can burn more than you consume. Any kind of activity can be greatly beneficial to keep the children from turning a more spherical shape. I too am not exempt from this rule. As most of my day is spent sitting in front of a computer, I realize that I need to keep active as well.
4. Game System Mobility - If all else fails, why not give them a reason to get up and move? In our home, we utilize the Xbox 360 with the Kinect and a Wii. Most of our games consist of those that require getting up and moving about. In fact, we have a house rule that if the Wii gets turned on, you’re on your feet. For the Kinect, we instituted that if you want to play the Xbox, the first 30 minutes are on your feet. Keeping children active this way has been working fairly well for the entire family.
Keeping children active is all about keeping their body moving. While technological gizmos make this aspect a bit more difficult than it used to be, we as parents need to step up our game if we don’t want our children to suffer from diabetes later in life. It takes inventive measures at times, but the effect that it has on the body is nothing short of amazing. Even I feel better after keeping myself active. What do you do to engage your gamer to keep active?
Paul Taylor started http://www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.
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