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Q:

What are some ways to encourage my child to be physically active and engage in sports or exercise?

Hi everyone,

I am a parent of a 9-year-old boy and I'm looking for ways to encourage him to be more physically active and engage in sports or exercise. He's always been a little on the inactive side, preferring to play video games or watch TV over anything else. I want to motivate him to find an activity he enjoys and get him moving.

I've tried signing him up for various sports teams and classes, but he's not interested in anything I suggest. I've also tried doing physical activities with him like bike rides, hikes, and even just playing catch, but it hasn't caught on.

Has anyone had success in getting their child to be more active? What tips or tricks have worked for you? I'd love to hear any suggestions or ideas that might help. Thank you in advance!

All Replies

joesph92

Hi,

I feel you, motivating a child to become physically active can be a real struggle, especially when you have exhausted all options. It can be frustrating, but do not give up just yet.

What really worked for my nephew when it comes to physical activities was letting him set his goals. We asked him what he wanted to achieve from the activities and together we figured a solution. Instead of insisting on a set of sports or exercise routines, giving him the freedom to choose what he wants has worked wonders!

Another trick that has gotten him up and about during the lockdown period is using technology to succeed. Since we are all about TVs, games and phones, we downloaded an app that allows him to customize his workout sessions or compete with friends to get the most steps.

Lastly, I encourage him a lot by praising and rewarding him when he shows progress. Nothing motivates a child more than seeing the effort they put into something being recognized and rewarded.

I hope these suggestions work for you, and you can accomplish your goal of getting your child up and active. Good luck!

ndibbert

Hello,

As a parent of two teenagers, I understand the challenges of motivating a child to engage in physical activity. It can be especially hard during teenage years, as hobbies and interests can change rapidly.

One thing that worked for my kids was getting them outdoors in nature. We started off with easy hikes, and gradually worked our way up to more challenging ones. The kids enjoyed exploring new trails, and they were getting plenty of exercise without even realizing it.

To keep things interesting, we would sometimes take our dog along or invite friends to go with us. This kept things fun and social. Being in the fresh air and surrounded by nature also helped them to de-stress and unwind.

Another tip that has worked well for us is introducing the kids to non-traditional sports like archery or rock climbing. These type of activities provided a challenge and gave them a sense of accomplishment once they had achieved a new level.

Finally, we made sure to encourage physical activity as a regular part of our daily routine by having physical rewards like allowing them to earn a phone upgrade or choosing where to eat for their sports and exercise efforts.

In conclusion, finding creative ways to get your child engaged in physical activity and ensuring it becomes an enjoyable routine can lead to successful achievement in your efforts to keep your child physically active.

nicolette31

Hello,

I had a similar problem with my daughter, who was more interested in solitary activities like reading and drawing. We tried the traditional team sports like soccer and basketball, but they just weren't a good fit for her. We found success in something more individual like martial arts, specifically Taekwondo. For her, it gave a sense of accomplishment, confidence and self-esteem.

We set achievable milestones and made sure to celebrate her progress. Even the small steps like learning a sequence of moves correctly or holding her stances for more extended periods were celebrated, and it helped keep her motivated in the long term.

Positive reinforcement was also a big tool in our arsenal. We found that it was more effective for our daughter to reward her for the effort she put in rather than the results themselves. So, even if she didn't get the highest score in her competition, we still rewarded her based on the effort and progress she made.

Lastly, it is also essential to make physical activity part of a lifestyle, and involve the whole family wherever possible like including family walks or bike rides on weekends.

I hope those tips are helpful and lead to success in your efforts to encourage your child to engage in physical activity!

kuhlman.jerald

Hey there,

I also faced a similar issue with my son when he was younger. He didn't show much interest in any sports or physical activities. What really worked for us was trying some unconventional outdoor activities like surfing, skateboarding or parkour which didn't feel like regular exercise routines. He found them exciting and wanted to explore and learn more.

Bringing some element of boredom-breaking in the activities helped him enjoy them more. Early morning walks, cycling, climbing might be too predictable or boring sometimes. To make it more engaging, we tried some treasure-hunting, explored different routes on our bikes or had some friendly competition like who can do the most jumps during our parkour sessions.

It is essential to keep a watch on screen time to have adequate exercise, so we made it a habit to only let him watch his favorite shows after he had completed an hour of park time outside. That way, he could enjoy his screen time and we could make sure he had enough physical activity too.

Another important aspect was staying positive and knowing that it might take time for a child to warm up to a physical activity. Patience and a continuous effort to expose them to different things will eventually pay off.

I hope that helps and best of luck in your journey of getting your child more physically active!

mcassin

Hi there,

As a fellow parent, I completely understand the struggle of trying to get your child to be more physically active. I have a 10-year-old daughter who was very similar to your son in that she preferred screen time over outdoor activities.

One thing that helped to get her more active was finding a sport or activity that she was interested in. We tried out a few different things until she found something she enjoyed - for her, it was dance! Once she started taking dance classes, she became more interested in other physical activities as well.

Another thing that has helped is making physical activity a part of our daily routine. We started going for family walks after dinner and made it a habit to do something active as a family on the weekends. By incorporating physical activity into our daily lives, it became more natural for her to be active.

Finally, we try to make physical activity fun and not a chore. We'll go to the park or the pool and just play games, or play catch with a frisbee or football. By keeping it lighthearted and entertaining, she looks forward to being active instead of dreading it.

I hope some of these suggestions might help you and your son become more physically active!

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