We all are experiencing tough times with our children, being attached to mobile devices, as if they were some sort of life support for them. All the social networks have become their lifeline, and they have a great influence on them, even more than their own mind. The problem that most guardians and parents are facing is how to get them off these devices and networks. It seems like that they have an addictive influence on them just like drugs have on the addicts. Yes, I’m saying that kids are addicted to social media.
Other major side effect of this addiction is the increasing level of obesity in the kids. Obesity is increasing at a tremendous rate and nearly one third of the population is obese. This is also one of the major causes of many other deceases.
There have been several studies and research that show the negative effects of these addictive social behaviours. See the video by Simon Sink on the effects of social media in the kids.
When me and my brother were kids, my mum would turn the TV off (the only social media) off and send us out to play. I would admit that during those days there was hardly any social media, actually no social media. We had no choice but to go out and play in the fields or farm.
But with the influx of social networks in the last ten years, it has become very very difficult for the parents to get the kids moving. This is the challenge every family is facing. On top of both parents working, long trips, and long working hours to meets the needs, this add more pressure and leave very little time for parents to concentrate on the kids and do activities with them.
What can we do to help the kids of get off this addiction and have an active lifestyle to avoid being obese? So, you have to start with yourself, the adults and the guardians set the plan to add more and more physical activities in your family routine.
Below are a few ideas that could help you and your kids to have an active lifestyle.
1. Set the example for your kids
Yes, you have to be the role model for your kids, if you are on social media all the time, your kids would never get off it no matter how hard you try. Have “no screen time” for the whole family and you lead by example. Children follow the example, not the words. If your children realize that you are physically active and having fun, they are more likely to be active and remain active throughout their lives. Take the kids for a walk regularly, ride a bike, play cricket in the yard. (Buy a dog, so that you have to take it for a walk ...).
2. Motivate your kids.
Use positive and motivating language with the kids and encourage them in whatever they are doing. Actively listen to them more and give advice, you will become their best friend. Discuss with them the benefits of sports and advantages of being in a team, that will motivate your kids to join a team or sports class, like football, basketball, or gymnastics, at school or at your local club.
3. Be sensitive to your child's needs.
If your child feels uncomfortable participating in activities such as sports, help them find fun physical activities. Unfortunately, some children do not play with others because they have not developed the necessary social skills to participate in games. If so, you will need a little more encouragement and training to help your kid build confidence in this area. Children who are forced to participate in sports, often develop a negative attitude for physical activities for the rest of their lives.
4. Become an active family.
Assign active tasks such as making beds, washing the car or vacuuming. Plan active walks, such as a visit to the zoo, picnics or a walk in a local park. When it comes to housework and your kid is a reluctant one, make it a family affair where everyone participates at the same time. That way, the beginning and the end are clear, and nobody is left out.
5. Create daily activities and implement them with positive attitude.
Attitude is the key factor in achieving the results.
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
You have to have the attitude of the winner, but also have compassion for your kids as life is not a competition, it’s a beautiful story that you all are writing together as a family.
Attitude is important ... you understand it!
6. Keep it up!
As the kids are not ready to take massive activities and rigorous schedules, try to keep things simple and sweet. That way it can become an integral part of their lives. One step at a time is the key to success, always get your kids feedback for the activities. What they liked? What they disliked? What can you do to make it better? Or even better, make them in charge of the activities. It’s been proven fact that kids perform better when they are in charge rather than when they are told. Try to make your activities fun, and your kids will be happy and healthy for ever.
Play with your kids and learn how well do you know your kids.