View Full Version : Keeping the kids active

08-13-2006, 12:10 AM
Hi everyone… I could really do with some quotes from moms [has to be moms, sorry dads!] on what you do to encourage your kids to take exercise when there is so much temptation from the TV, computer, Playstation… do you encourage participation in sports; take them to the Y; get them to work out by mowing the lawn if they aren’t into sports? I’d really be looking for verbal incentives that aren’t related to how your kids look but to how explaining that exercise gives them energy and helps them fight stress…
This is for a topselling national monthly women’s magazine so please pm me if you can help, as my deadline is looming! Many thanks!

08-13-2006, 05:27 AM
In our family, we've recently gone to a TV Ticket system. To watch television, the kids have to earn a certain amount of tickets -- which can be collected for doing things like playing outside, completing chores, helping mom around the house, that sort of thing.

Each child is enrolled in one sport, so every time they have a practice or a game, they earn tickets for that. In addition, there's a cap on how many tickets can be cashed in each day. Not only that, we do yoga together, at least my younger two and I do, and they understand that it's more important to be healthy than it is to sit around on your butt all day. I'm fortunate in that our school has a good physical education program, where the kids learn about fitness and about the importance of eating right and keeping their bodies healthy.

08-13-2006, 09:07 PM
When they were younger, I used to tell them that the TV didn't work very well when it was sunny outside. I don't know if it's a comment on my kids' intelligence, or lack thereof *g*....but they always fell for it.

Now that they are older and wiser (6, 8, 9) I just tell them outright....go outside or go to bed. 99 times out of 100 they choose outside. But then again, I'm one of those strange moms who actually expects my children to do what I tell them to do, and disciplines them if they don't ;-)

If it's raining, I let them vote on a DVD. Ditto in the wintertime.

As an incentive I remind them that we'll turn on the TV after dinner and watch something as a family, or something we have Tivo'd that we think they'll like.

We own no videogames, nor will we. My son has a Leapster educational game he received from his grandparents that he is allowed to play for a half-hour a day. Occasionally the kids get a dose of videogames at a friend's house, and that seems to keep them happy.

We also have them signed up for daycamp, various sports, park district stuff, etc during the year.

As for verbal incentives, I constantly battle my weight, and use that as a living example of what bad eating and a lack of exercise as a child can do to you.


08-15-2006, 03:06 AM
When my kids were younger I used to say they were going to "Camp Mommy." We tried to make ourselves good and healthy food, and stay active. The key was that I was right there with them. They are now 16 and 21, and we still joke about it. But I can tell you that they both value health and fitness.

08-15-2006, 08:35 PM
Good lord, I have to give no encouragement whatsoever, but then my boy is 4. He never, ever stops & right now is taking a nap for the first time in almost 2 weeks & only because he's feeling a little under the weather.

Variant Frequencies
08-16-2006, 04:56 AM
Get them involved in activities they like. For my kids, it was soccer when they were younger, and martial arts later. Most importantly, do things with them. Play, ride bikes, go for walks together. Show them it's important by being active yourself.

08-17-2006, 10:04 PM
I fight this battle alot but it is getting easier as time goes on. My youngest daughter had a weight problem when she was younger but her father's genetics played a role in that too. His family tends to be big-boned and on the heavy side whereas mine are all short and beanpoles. Our oldest daughter started out with weight issues as well but once she became interested in sports on a limited but relatively scheduled time, she lost her weight. My youngest took a little longer but her weight is current at an ideal point according to the pediatrician and she has remained at her ideal weight for more than two years.

I have an eye disease that caused blindness although I do retain some light perception. In addition, I have joint disease, nerve damage in one arm, and an autoimmune disease. It is difficult to be a sports mom when one cannot see well enough to participate. However, we did take up walking around our subdivision each day when school is out and even during school on nice days we walk in the evenings along with my guide dog. My youngest snipes about not being able to play her games but the sniping is less now. In fact, her elementary school allows the children to walk during their recess time, which allows them to earn points toward prizes and those points go toward earning these little tags for so many miles per grading period. After beginning our mommy/daughter walking at home, she began participating more in the walk at school. In three years, her tags are piling up and she receives recognition at an awards ceremony each grading session, which I attend faithfully cheering her on.

The best way I found to encourage exercise as a parent for a child is to participate myself. This gives the child the incentive, allows for parent/child bonding, and teaches the child that exercise is an important part of staying healthy.

BTW, this past year we were able to get an audible signal set for the basketball goal in our yard. There is an audible goal finder that sits in a velcro pouch that hangs on the backboard behind the goal, a bell that attaches to the bottom of the net, and a special basketball with a bell inside so I can tell where the ball is at during our games. It was a major hit with my children, ages 9 and soon-to-be 19 years old.

I hope something I gave today helps you in someway.

Warmest regards,