The more active your family is, the healthier your family will be.
Your brain is always developing and growing, from birth all through adulthood. Most of this development happens on a social level. Our parents are our primary role models, from them we learn how the world works and how to think about the world.
The most important ‘platform’ for your child’s development is the family unit. Your child’s emotional, physical and mental development will depend on how your family spends time together. Active and stimulating family time will encourage the same sort of mental growth. A simple, mindless chore like grocery shopping is a stimulating experience for a child and can boost their mental development.
Time spent with siblings and parents is a chance to bond and build strong relationships. These are your child’s primary relationships, and form the basis for all other future relationships. It is also a time when parents can observe their children, and note their strengths and weaknesses.
Family time, and active time, together, has health benefits for you child that are long reaching.
Boost Your Child’s Mental & Physical Growth
The time you spend together, today, will not only boost your child’s development in the short term, but help protect them from developing future physical and mental problems as an adult.
- My Child Always Says He Is Tired
How active is your child? How active is your family? Do you spend time together as a family playing? Do you go shopping together?
Your child should never be too tired to participate in any family activity – whether it is going to the park together or the local shopping mall. He should be active enough to jump with joy if you propose going out for an activity or for leisure. The oozing energy is visible to everyone and your kid should showcase that. Make sure that he has a healthy diet and is not always into junk food. Also, see to it that he is not addicted to TV or PC games, and has a keen interest in outdoor activities.
How old is your child, and what is their bedtime routine, and how long do they sleep for? Children need much more sleep than adults, so before you launch into making your family more active, and reap the health benefits – make sure your child is getting enough sleep and has enough energy to have fun.
Sleep is the time when a child’s body is growing, healing, and developing. Newborns sleep up to 16 hours a day, toddlers need about 13 hours of sleep, and school age children need 11 hours, teenagers – about 9 hours.
Set firm bed times, and make sure your children get adequate sleep. This is the first step in making sure your child will be happy, mentally strong, and have the energy to be active. Limit time spent watching television, and develop firm bedtime routines.
- The More Active Your Children Are, The Faster Their Brains Will Be
Modern life can be busy, but being inactive can be highly detrimental for children, far worse than it is for adults. Sedentary lifestyles are physically and mentally poor choices for children, in particular.
Toddlers develop very quickly, and are in a period of explosive growth – they need activity to develop their brains, their bodies, and their well being.
Studies show that children who play and are active, have faster brains – the mental connections fire at a higher rate, and thoughts are made more quickly.
There are many ways you can be active together. Family activities like cycling, walking and playing a sport together are a good way to bond and develop strong muscles, and coordination. A green environment also stimulates and encourages the development of your child’s brain – going to the park and playing outdoors are ways to top up their Vitamin D and boost cognition.
- Get Off The Sofa And Play Pickleball
After school, on the weekends, and during the vacation, you should schedule special active family time together. You could play ball sports, fly kites, go to the beach or throw a frisbee. There are many budget-friendly options when it comes to spending fun, physically active time, together.
You might like to learn to play pickleball, with your children. This game was designed by parents who were looking for a way to entertain their children during the long summer vacation. It is similar to tennis, or badminton, but the court is smaller, and the rules are simpler. All you need is a set of pickleball paddles, a few pickle balls, and something to use as a net. The game is played underhand, and you don’t need to serve. It can be played in teams, or one-on-one.
- Reduce The Risk Of Anxiety, Depression, Obesity & Eating Disorders
Studies show that active children have a reduced risk of developing serious disorders in later life. Children who are obese run the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
A healthy lifestyle is important for the well being of all members of your family. By being physically active you are protecting your family’s future health. A healthy lifestyle means using your time wisely. Structure your day and make the most of your free moments.
Life is busy, and there are many responsibilities that a parent has – working all day long, making sure your child is eating well, and overseeing homework – finding time to be active together can be a challenge, but the benefits are significant.
Your child’s physical health and mental development are interdependent. Families can form a strong bond with their children and help them develop through many day to day activities.
Simple ways to spend quality time together could be sharing meals, going shopping and partaking in hobbies together. You can protect your child from developing serious health problems in the future by making your family life as physically active as possible.
How you choose to spend your time together as a family matters. You need to get outside, be active and spend quality time together. Though there is nothing wrong with watching television or play games indoors, it is important to encourage an active lifestyle.
There is nothing wrong with watching television or playing games indoors, but you need to get outside and spend quality time together, being active. You child’s mental and physical development will be boosted the more time you spend together running, jumping and playing.
Plus, it’ll be great for parents, too.
Tom Hardy (Co-founder of Toys Advisors).