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Motivating Your Children to be Healthy

Updated on February 23, 2011

Let's face it, kids are getting fatter and fatter. It's not just kids, but Americans on average. It's the job of parents to push their children in a direction to be more physical. These days, with the help of the internet, computers, video games, and the TV, it's much harder for kids to be entertained outside of the house. This article will give you the information you need to help motivate you to motivate your children.

Daily physical activity should be a part of a child's long, happy, healthy life. Remember when we were kids? Whether you're 21 or 45, we all remember going to the park, playing in the mud, throwing dirt at each other, playing on the monkey bars, running, running, and more running. Our parents couldn't keep up with us. Then we all grew up. We drive cars. We go to work and sit at a desk all day. We go to college classes and study. We don't run anymore, unless it's on a treadmill, and that's just not natural. Let's not allow our children to meet that fate early on.

Kids nowadays spend their time on the computer, chatting with friends. They play XBox live or PlayStation, or whatever is out there now. They Tivo their favorite shows and watch one right after the other. It doesn't matter what the age is. From early childhood until their late teens, kids are picking technology over activity. And it's bad when an adult like me decides to sit down and play a video game online, and some pre-pubescent punk is completely destroying me over and over again, exclaiming what a "homosexual, African American" I am. Not in those words. If kids were to put as much effort practicing throwing a football or a baseball as they did playing these games, we wouldn't have as many children with weight issues.

These are the days when both parents work to earn money, or one of the two parents isn't around. The old times when mom stayed home to take care of the kids is long gone in most homes. One of the bad side effects of this is that no one is home to cook well thought out, healthy meals. You're too busy to cook! Let alone cook a healthy meal. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

That covers the reasons why kids, or anyone else in the world, are really overweight. Not enough activity, and not a healthy diet. Now it's time for everyone to get involved. It's time that mothers and fathers alike take their daughters and sons outside for a walk to the park, or to throw a frisbee around, or go somewhere out of the house! Get away from the technology! This not only gets exercise for both the parents and children alike, but builds bonding, and develops an enjoyable, healthy relationship. Kids want to be like their parents (at least before they become teens), so be a role model! If you get your child interested in something, they are more inclined to do it. It works even into the teens. For example, if a father plays catch with his son, and takes his son to a football game, and gets him extremely interested in the game of football, that son would be more than likely "trained" to like football. So he may start to drift away from his parents in his teen years, but he'll go play football with his friends. And this goes for nearly any activity.

If a child sees mom cooking in the kitchen, what do they want to do? They want to help. Let them! Teach them at a young age that "We prepare our meals with vegetables, or fruits, along with meat." Let them help, and get involved, and get interested. Teach them how to cook properly, not just grab snacks out of the cupboard when their hungry.

Get involved. Get involved in their physical activity. Get involved in their personal life. Teach them what is healthy by showing them what is healthy. Work out! And have your child work out with you. There is no greater motivator in this world than your children. Remember the goal in the long run. Tell yourself, "This is good for me, and it is good for my child." They will idolize you while they are young, and want to be like you.

Also, think about how you were back in school. Self esteem issues? Weight issues? Everybody has insecurities. Don't let your child have the insecurities you had. Help them be as stress-free as possible, as the high school years are rough. As said before, kids can be ruthless. The key is to start at a young age, and push them to do good things. Don't push too hard, but guide them in the right direction. They're likely to feel less stressed, feel better about themselves, maintain a healthy weight, learn better in school, build healthy bones and muscles, and sleep better at night.

Try some of these activities to help keep your child occupied and active...

  • Competitive Sports
  • Biking to school (kids will bike anywhere!)
  • Dancing or Yoga
  • Bowling
  • Band (I know this one's weird, but marching band camp can really shape a kid up)
  • Swimming

And remember, don't take technology out a child's life. A social environment is healthy, but in moderation. Let them chat with their friends online, or play video games, or watch some TV, but only after they spend time doing something active.

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    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Great hub. You made many great points and offered good tips! Thank you.

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