If your child likes physical activities, sports, going for walks to look for insects or playing with his friends, congratulations! You have a healthy, normal child and of those who are very few …
Some years ago, in school meetings with parents it was very common to hear mothers complain about how restless their children seemed to them, about the many physical activities they did and that despite this, at the end of the day they were still energetic and without much desire to go to sleep. Today, sadly, the complaint among parents is directed towards the time that children spend in front of the computer, television and social networks, with all the consequences that this has entailed: overweight, poor school performance, cyber bullying and other atrocities online.
How and when did this happen to us?
Like many other things, these problems are the consequence of when parents forget our main and most important function: that of being parents. When this happens, we often give up our responsibility to the comfort of television and shut up our guilt by giving away sophisticated electronic equipment to children who should be playing in gardens.
What can we do to reverse the effects of our carelessness?
1. Take back control
When we ask ourselves why my son does this or that, the answer is easy: because you let him. That simple, that simple. So, if you want changes in the habits of your children, start by retaking the direction and leadership of your family. Get together with them and together talk about the problems that are generated by spending so much time sitting in front of the television and propose some solutions so that together you can change those family habits. Kids always have great ideas, so don’t be surprised if they ask you to spend more time together and go outside to play.
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2. Establish age-appropriate routines for your children
Depending on the age of your little ones and family activities, establish routines that include schedules where the children can watch television, do homework, collaborate in cleaning the home and go out to play or practice a sport. When you organize the time, remember that the solution is not to fill the day with activities, because even well-directed leisure moments are necessary and can do wonders for children in terms of developing their creativity and keeping them moving.
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3. Establish times of coexistence, recreation and physical activity
Family life is essential for the acquisition of good habits and healthy customs. Take time each day or week to go for a walk with the children, play in the park, develop camping and survival skills, or teach them a board game. If you leave the car for a while and use the bicycle to go around close to home together, you and your children will receive great benefit. Movement is very important for children and adolescents, so do not let them stay lethargic for hours and try to have activities that are attractive to them and provide them with useful knowledge for daily life, not to take away the responsibility of their care and education. .
4. If necessary, take serious action
There are times when the establishment of routines is not enough, because bad habits have already become so incorporated into the life of the individual that it is almost impossible to tear him out of the chair or take away the computer. In these cases, equally serious and drastic measures must be taken, such as going through a period of electronic abstinence, which with adolescents can be the beginning of a recovery in the establishment of rules and schedules. When you think about taking serious measures, make sure that they are not carried out in a violent way or that they damage the most precious thing in a family: trust and good relationships. Do not promise what you are not sure to fulfill and if you are sure to do so, measure the consequences of what may happen with your decision. Be prudent and exhaust other resources.
5. Visit to the corresponding doctor, nutritionist or specialist
As strange as it may seem, there are habits so pernicious that we even require professional help. Don’t be afraid to consult an expert on the subject or other parents and teachers to find out how they have solved problems with network addiction, pornography, school abuse, chronic sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition and some other eating disorders. You take the first step when you accept that you have a challenge at home and the second, when you start moving around looking for solutions.
Keeping your children moving does not refer only to physical activity, it refers to their entire being and in all aspects of their life. When birds make their nests and lay their eggs, throughout the day they gently move them from one side to the other, change their position and nestle them infinitely until they see them hatch. Without this process, the precious chicks would lose their healthy formation inside the egg and would not be ready for life outside the nest. The same is true of our children and what we do with them before they leave home.