In a world of computers, cell phones, Sidekicks, X boxes and video gaming, kids today have an entirely new concept of what having fun is. These are the babies of the new technology, and while knowing how to operate all these gadgets can be good for them in many ways, this new way of playing can also lead to a lifestyle of physical inactivity for them.
Back in the day, we played in our backyards, on playgrounds, in the middle of dead end streets, making up all kinds of games where you had to run, jump, climb, throw balls, and just plain move that body all around. Flash forward to the present, and with the exception of children who participate in organized sports, you'll find that many of our youths spend day after day parked in front of a TV or computer monitor, or sitting around text messaging their buddies. This is something that you as a parent, relative, mentor or adult influence can, if not change, at least put a dent in. It's up to us to show the kids of today how to really play.
First of all, it helps if you're pretty active, yourself. You can't just talk the talk, here. You have to walk the walk. Kids do what they see YOU do.
When your children see that you actively participate in and enjoy outdoors activities, they'll want to do the same. It's a blueprint that you're setting for them that they will touch back on later in life. Be it biking, going swimming, or just playing catch with them, seeing you active and enjoying sports and physical activities will rub off on them in a very big way.
Remember that children tend to pick up your good habits, as well as your bad ones. It has been proven that children with parents who smoke are more likely to become smokers later on. It's the same for everything else they see you do. Or not do. They are learning from you what to do, and how to be. So, by the same token, your good habits will set an example for them, as well. If they see you just sitting around on the couch all day just lounging around when you're not at work, and never being active, then that's setting the tone for the type of adults they're more likely to become. Sedentary and inactive. Try to avoid that by getting outside and doing physical activities, both with and without your kids.
Good influences start early. Be sure that you're setting a good, healthy, active example for your child. It can only lead to a better, healthier, happier future for them.