According to both the Canadian Paediatric Society and American Academy of Pediatrics, children aged 2 to 5 shouldn’t view more than one-hour of quality programming per day. Yet numerous studies indicate they are viewing significantly more. Although it’s difficult to limit our kids’ exposure to screens, it’s crucial to their health and wellbeing. That’s because research has shown that there is a direct correlation between the increase in screen time and decrease in physical activity. And children’s physical, mental and social development are directly associated with physical activities.
So, how can we encourage kids to be more active? First of all, it’s important that we lead by example. By being active, parents can encourage the kids to do the same and involve them in various activities. Does Dad play soccer on Sundays? Take the children to watch and, while Dad is playing, give them a ball so they can run around and kick it too! By watching their parents play sports and participate in other physical activities, the chances of children wanting to be part of a team, an active group or other activities increase highly.
Secondly, you can support your child in a couple of ways. In addition to enrolling your kids in a sport or physical activity, you can also be there on the sidelines, cheering them on. This is a great way to show that you're proud of their participation and can provide motivation for them to continue and improve.
Although sports can sometimes be competitive, the most important thing is to make sure they’re having fun. After all, they’re kids and kids should be free to play!
Images: Stonz Wear / Unsplash
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