Active Boys: Getting them to like being fit
While I'm still having my mini break, Adrian Rodriguez has kindly offered to do a guest post for me, about one of my favourite subjects....getting boys active. I hope you enjoy.
Anyone who has had a son (or has met a boy) will know that they generally tend towards one of two things: staying inside all the time, or going outside all the time. If they spend all their time outdoors, that’s great: although you probably won’t see them very often, at least they’re keeping their bodies active. If you have a boy that likes to sit on his computer all day, however, it can be a mission to teach him how to keep active and healthy.
This doesn’t have to be a chore, but it’s important that your boys enjoy keeping active from a young age – it’ll benefit them for their entire lives. Here’s a few ways to get your boys to like being fit (and as a bonus, you’ll probably get fitter too!).
Like with anything else, in order to enjoy something and succeed in it, you have to have to want to do it. That’s why, before interning your son into a boot camp or forcing them to accompany you on your early morning runs, you should plant the idea into his head that exercise can be fun and rewarding. By allowing him to want to exercise you’ll save yourself a lot of argument, tantrums and every other problem a parent faces when trying to force their child to do something they’d rather not do.
Take Them Out
Buy a basketball, a soccer ball or a football and take your kids to the park. Teach them the rules if necessary and play a friendly match as a family or invite your child’s friends. Ease them into becoming active by doing something as a family perhaps once a week. If there aren’t enough people to have a fun match of a team sport, take them bike riding, swimming or to a tennis court. It doesn’t matter what you do, but taking your child out, participating with him, slowly building a routine and love for exercise or sports is the most effective way to get them to voluntarily become active. Don’t plunge your child into an intense routine or you’ll turn what should be a fun and rewarding experience into a burdensome chore: just casually start becoming more active.
Enrol them into something
Once your child is somewhat used to being even a little active, you should consider enrolling him into organised sport or lessons. Team sports are great because not only do your children become active and enjoy it, but they learn important social lessons like sportsmanship and being part of a team. Team sports like basketball or soccer also encourage healthy competitiveness which gives children ambition and a will to improve. An alternative to team sports is lessons. Swimming or tennis lessons are fun and rewarding. Where team sports are rewarding when you score, defend or win against another team, lessons reward progress. Learning and perfecting a tennis serve or freestyle can be equally as rewarding beating an opposing soccer team. If you still have no luck, try something a little bit more innovative or adventurous, like dusting off the surfing fins and taking them to surf lessons.
The younger you start to encourage your son to become active, the more effective it will be. Sports offer the same thing as video games: playing with friends, the ability to hone and improve your skills, a competitive environment and the thrill of winning or perfecting something. Appeal to these aspects, and there should be little problem.
Adrian Rodriguez is a freelance writer and university student whose mother made him love sports from a young age – she didn’t like buying loaves and loaves of bread to feed him, though! Guest post brought to you by FCS
3pickles received no compensation for this post.