Most parents ask if influencing children to exercise is possible? They are concerned of the current environment which emphasizes on sedentary activities. A child would rather play soccer on the computer than to go out and kick the ball. Is there a way of influencing children to exercise?
Parents Must Set The Example
The easiest way of influencing a child to exercise is by the parents exercising. It helps even more when the child sees the parents exercising. Exercising has to seem to a child as something necessary and a normal part of life. A child should realize that he needs to workout regularly just as he would have to brush his teeth or have a shower.
Parents who workout will not have to influence their children to do so. A child who has grown up in an environment where working out is normal will be extremely eager to start himself. My wife and I exercise at home. Our children see us working out. To them, it is odd when someone does not work out. They do not know any better. My 2-year-old girl tries to pick up the pink dumbbell. She also tries to imitate our workouts.
It will be difficult for parents to promote working out when they have not embraced the habit. Parents need to walk the talk. Children do not hear what they need to do. They watch the parents and follow them. Parents who do not work out know this reality. They are embarrassed to promote exercise to their 10-year-old when they are not doing it.
Influencing Children to Exercise
Children can only be influenced. You could force a child to do something but it will never become a habit. The moment you turn your back, the child will stop doing the very thing that you are forcing upon them. A child will become even more rebellious when he is constantly forced against his will.
Influence is the easiest way to get a child to do something. The challenge is that the parent has to be authentic. A parent who is not exercising will not be able to influence.