Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Your child´s idea of a good time is sitting in front of the computer and playing computer games or chatting online with friends. You may think what's the harm, his homework is done and he is looking at safe sites. The thing is, many children will begin or have already begun a sedentary lifestyle that may have an adverse affect on them for the rest of their lives. This in not new information, as a concerned parent, you know your child should get exercise and probably encourage him to do so.
You tell him that exercise is good for him and that it is good for him to get outside and get some fresh air. Unfortunately if your kid is like most children, your explanation will get you nothing but promises to log off the computer. But, what's a parent to do? For one thing, do not use the dreaded word "exercise." Instead, use words such as fun or play. With so many toys and games geared to computer use, it is up to parents to think of ways to get children out of the house or at least off their bottoms.
So how do you get your kid away from the computer? Start with ideas that may grab your child’s interest and attention. A trip to a book shop or the library may do the trick. If the shop or library is in walking distance, walk and talk. You may learn something about your child that you did not know.
Remember old games that are familiar to you, may be new to your young child. Suggest a small party or get-together for your child and his or her friends where they can play active games like “Red Light, Green Light” and “Simon Says.” Keep a stockpile of items that your child can get active with: ring toss, kites, beanbags, jump ropes, balls; kickball is especially fun.
If you need something from the store and it is close by, walk and ask your child to walk there with you. You can play “I Spy” or other such games along the way. If driving you can play the same game, while riding in a car is certainly not physical exercise you can open a dialogue about physical activity.
And finally, if you cannot get your child to give up his beloved Internet, apply the old adage, "If you can't beat them, join them", and ask him to research a topic—gardening, for instance; then, if possible, plant one together. If your child’s passion is video games, buy one that incorporates body movement. Wii computer and video games are interactive games. To get started see Computers here at BellaOnline.
Once your child (and you) get into the habit of performing some type of exercise everyday or several times a week you will think of more ideas that will bring fun, joy and better cardio health for you and your family.