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3 Tips for Raising Active, Healthy Children

It is extremely easy for children to entertain themselves these days. With so many streaming services, electronic devices and video game consoles available, kids can spend hours “plugged in.” This can be helpful when you need time to complete your chores or relax at the end of a long day, but you also want to make sure that your kids are leading a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle.

Certainly, relaxing with a movie or game after they have finished their homework is fine, but parents should try to balance this kind of activity with other things that stimulate the children’s bodies and minds.

Here are some tips for helping your children lead a well-balanced life when they are at home after school.

Try to set a good example for your children

To a large extent, children will model their own habits after what they see in their home. If you do not go outside, exercise or engage in active hobbies, chances are your kids will not either. Also, they could ask why you are making them do certain activities when you are not doing the same yourself.

If your kids see you watching a movie, explain to them that this is your relaxation time, just like they are allowed to have relaxation time with a movie or video game.

Encourage fun activities that promote physical health

Most children are probably not going to start a regular exercise routine. However, they will engage in active practices such as sports, games or just playing outside. Parents should figure out what kind of physical activities their kids enjoy, and then encourage or facilitate these activities. This could mean signing the kids up for a sports league, taking them to the park or playing a sport with them yourself if they do not have any peers to play with.

Your goal should be to come up with a set of activities that your kids enjoy and that they can do day after day.

Encourage activities that stimulate the mind

In addition to the body, you will also want to keep your children’s minds healthy. If they are in school, they probably have enough academic work already. However, you can encourage them to play in ways that promote skills like creativity and creative thinking. As with physical activity, you will want to find mentally stimulating pastimes that your kids enjoy and will want to do repeatedly.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to possibilities. Some kids might like cooking or drawing, while others might enjoy board games or puzzles. Encourage these activities and, when possible, do them with your children.

Put it all together

If you can set a good example, make rules about “screen time,” and find both physical and mental activities that your children enjoy, you will be well on your way to raising kids who are  well-rounded and not tied to their electronic devices all the time.

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