Me? I’d choose 8. When I was 8, physical activity wasn’t a separate thing on the TO DO list. It was what we did for fun, for friendship, and for getting out of the house. We didn’t even know it was physical activity, we just thought it was “doing stuff”. Some of the most important things I ever learned – like creativity, healthy risk-taking, forming positive relationships, and handling both success and failure – happened when I was 8, doing stuff.
One generation later, the lives of 8 year olds, and even us adults, seem so different. Walking and biking to school are not as common, and many adults struggle to “find the time” to be physically active on a regular basis. Technology has also invaded our lives and is used for communication and play more than ever before. Still, children love to go outside and do stuff, and as adults we know that there are a lot of benefits to physical activity.
So, as parents, how can we provide our children with opportunities to do fun stuff today? Doing stuff in Halton is easier to find than you might think. You can get involved with “stuff” at your kids’ school to help promote more physical activity for everyone. Every day, doing stuff can be part of the routine things you do as a parent and a role model.
Thinking of reasons not to do something is often too easy and the Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines provide suggestions to avoid the pitfalls of screen time and other inactive patterns. Even when we try to get our kids active, it can still be tough to know if they are active enough for learning and growth. If you want to know more about how to plan for your children’s involvement in sports, check out Canadian Sport for Life’s website. They have great tips for parents, some of which include:
- Talking to your child about their interests and finding out what physical activities or sports appeal to them.
- Be positive when supporting your child, regardless of results.
- Your child might pursue extra interests outside sport and physical activity. Help them to balance their time according to their best interests.
So, what age would you be? Would you pick a time when physical activity was fun? When you met your best friends while playing a game, a sport, or while walking to school? When you found a place to belong because there was stuff you liked doing?
Be active with family and friends and you can be any age you want to be!
Share your experience:
For more information about about being active with kids, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at email@example.com
- Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.
About this guest blogger:
Rob Pozeg is a Health Promoter with Halton Region. His work is focused on the positive and healthy development of communities and the people who make them more than places to live. His four-year-old nephew helps to make doing stuff awesome again.