This year our kids will have about 6 months of summer vacation, crazy right. We all wish we had this as children. We are fortunate that this quarantine has happened during the spring into the summer. This would be a much different story in December. If you’re a parent than you have gone through all kinds of ups and downs during the last 3 months with your kids and never have we appreciated teachers so much. We have learned some valuable skills over these months, and if you have experienced some challenges with your kids you are not alone. We have put together a few tips to help you out.
As we as adults have been experiencing stress, so have our children. One thing we know about our members at Heart and Hustle is that they use exercise as a medicine for stress. Something I’ve noticed and I’m sure I’m not alone, is that my children have been on screens more than ever before, and even though its been nice outside, they aren’t being as active as they are used to being. We caught onto this early into quarantine, mainly because they were driving us crazy being inside, we needed to get out.
What kids need
Routine for all of us was turned upside down a few months back and as hard as this was for us adults, it really affected our children. I can’t take the credit for it, my amazing wife Ashley noticed that we needed to get the kids back on a routine. She structured their days with school, outdoor play, crafts, meals, bike rides, chores and downtime. What made the biggest difference in the kids emptions and energy levels was scheduled meals, snacks, and exercise. The more consistent their day was, the better they behaved. Just like adults children can get moody without proper nutrition and exercise. By sticking to a routine you’ll find that the kids will be telling you “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry” less often and they will be looking forward to what’s coming next.
Kids need fun, it has to be fun to keep them engaged. Sometimes this is only for a short period of time, children are known to have short attention spans. So the more prepared you are the easier you’ll be able to transition from one activity to the next. The same thing goes with food, get the kids to help make lunch, have play time with certain foods, they learn the importance of cooking and preparing meals and its helps kill a few hours
Exercise needs to be fun, we hear all the time that parents are finding it challenging to get the kids off the screens and exercising. Fun, fun, fun, if its not fun they won’t want to do it. Try some of these hacks to keep up with the fun.
Going for a walk – Make it a scavenger hunt of things to find in that park or neighbourhood
Workout – kids might not like working out, so play a sport, soccer, golf, a bike ride, capture the flag, keep changing it up so its exciting, and ask them what they want to play.
Bored – good, creativity is found in boredom, Its good to be bored sometimes, give them the space to let their minds wonder and their creativity flow.
Play with them – when is the last time you actually played with your kids, remember your children haven’t seen their friends that much in the last few months. Social interaction is a huge component to a child’s development. Look for opportunities to build your relationship with your children and help them build their imagination.
Challenges – kids love games, challenge them on different tasks that involve them using their bodies, pulling the most weeds, time trials down the street or around the house, set up a bike or running course. You also have to get creative; it breads creativity in our children, they are always watching.
Exercise with them – Let them do part of your WOD with them, even if it’s just the stretching. They are watching your every move. Set some time to include them in your workout, remember your teaching them how to love it.
Lead – Remember to always lead by example, you don’t always do what someone else wants you do to, but even as adults we follow those who lead. So be a leader to your children and understand that just because you want them to do something, it doesn’t mean that they want to do it.
By planning ahead and setting the example, we lead our children to living a healthy lifestyle. If you always have a plan B, you are showing your children what it is to be organized and the importance of structure. If you have a routine of exercising every day, it will become a normal part of your child’s life.
If you want your children to be active, then be active.
If you want your children to eat healthy, the eat healthy
If you want your children to be able to deal with stress, then show them how
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them” James Baldwin
Lead by example and make exercise fun simply going for a walk is exercise.