Peer Pressure Can Be A Good Thing
Let’s face it: We are a nation of Couch Potatoes and our “Small Fries” are learning from us how to sit in front of the TV until our rear ends expand to fill the seat.
What parent hasn’t heard the whine, “I’m bored”? In previous generations, a mom or dad might reply, “Go outside and play”. We don’t hear that –or say that–much anymore and it’s time we do. Our children and ourselves would benefit. Here’s some ideas to get you started:
– Head out for a game of tennis or pickup basketball in the driveway with your kid.
– Ask them to teach you to use their skateboard or relive your own youth by strapping on a pair of rollerblades (moms can usually fit into ones their sons outgrow).
– Take a hike with your kids–even if its just around the neighborhood.
– Invent a scavenger hunt.
– Walk the dog. Walk the neighbors’ dog.
– Plan a family camping trip (this includes pitching the tent, collecting wood for the campfire, cleaning up–and everyone helps with every chore). Once your kids find out they love camping, consider sending them to a summer weight loss camp for a few weeks.
– Join the neighborhood “Y’ and enter into swim meets and other competitive family team sports.
– Plant a garden with your kids (everybody digs and weeds and everybody gets to plant what they want.)
– Clean the attic and have a rummage sale (split the proceeds with your kids in exchange for their manual labor.)
– For family movie night,rent old swashbuckler movies like Robin Hood and Zorro (or enjoy Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean) and take up archery and fencing as family activities.
– Join a dojo with your children and practice martial arts.
– Teach your teenage daughter to belly (not pole) dance.
– Take up boxing and help your whole family take out any tension on the speed bag hung in your basement.
– Make Twister the choice for family game night (keep the Ben Gay handy if you are over 40).
– Split wood for next year’s fires (top lumberjack honors earn a respite from family chores for a week).
– Run–as a family–in a marathon or for a charity.
– Sign your kids up for tap or ballet and join in (or take ballroom dance with your spouse) then have a dance-off with invited judges.
– Take up horseback riding–offer to muck out the stables and bale hay in exchange for more lessons.
– Go apple picking in season.
– Offer to babysit some neighborhood toddlers (take turns doing the chasing.)
Use your imagination to add to this list. The idea is to keep moving and to make that moving fun for all. Involve your kids–engage their minds and their bodies will follow and they will be on a path of better health forever.