A lot has been said and written about kids spending time in doing physical activities. It is more important than ever in this era of computers and handheld devices. Kids need to get out of the house to get some fresh air and of course, make new friends. In our household we emphasise a lot on physical activities.
Our kiddo has witnessed the habit of exercising in our house. Both my husband and I try to make time for a workout every day in the morning. When our daughter wakes up she sees us in our workout clothes and she knows that we are coming back from our running/swimming session.
I guess in our household being physically active is the way of life.
My argument is that kids learn by watching. They just blend into the family by mirroring family culture and practices. Parents have to be caught being physically active. Double standards will not work with kids. I tried to push my kiddo to learn our mother tongue while my husband and I communicated more in English. Of course, kiddo didn’t pick up our mother tongue.
I am lucky that kiddo likes going to playground more than sitting alone plopped in front of TV. I don’t remember doing anything particular in this regard to develop physical fitness. Just one rule, evening is playground time. She can’t wait to get out of the house every evening.
Looking back I realised, we didn’t really carry kiddo around when she was young. Even when she was just as young as 18 months to 2-year-old we encouraged her to walk. When she was 3 years old we would all take a walk to nearby market or park (around 1km distance). We spend our weekends by going for kite flying, cycling in a park or early morning visits to nature parks.
Kiddo understands and speaks about exercising. She sometimes even uses this in our arguments.
Kiddo: “Can I go swimming today, pleeeease?”
Me: “No baby, you have fever. You shouldn’t be swimming today.”
Kiddo: “But I have to go.”
Me: “Why is that?”
Kiddo: “I haven’t exercised for a long time. I need exercise.”
Me: *looks for an escape route*
A few days back I asked my kiddo if she wanted to participate in a run organised as part of a marathon. She was more than willing to participate. She was excited. She ‘practiced’ running at home and at playground. She spoke about it all the time.
And today, kiddo and I had crossed the finish line of 850m. The medal that she thinks she “won” (every finishing participant got a medal) is proudly displayed in her room.
Divya Rao is a mother to a 4 yr old bundle of joy. She has one eye set on growing her career and the other watching and enjoying her little one grow up.