The Four A's of Fiber: "Remember the four A’s of fiber: apples, artichokes, apricots, and avocados. "

Monday, August 6, 2007

Teens and Screens

Older children have different motivations for being active than younger ones. They have already mastered the basic physical skills, such as jumping, running, throwing and climbing. Older kids are keenly aware of competition and accomplishments. They know which kids are the fastest, strongest and best athletes. Friends more than parents, are the big motivation for older kids.

What works for older children is lots of support for their chosen activities. Driving your kids to practices, attending games or events, providing them with they need to perform are ways that show the importance you place on physical activity. Encouragement and positive reinforcement from you also motivates teens. If children feel supported in what they do, they are more likely to continue doing it.

Now, what if your older child chooses inactivity? Between TV shows, email, instant messaging, research homework, and video games, kids have too many opportunities for screen time. Several studies show that children who spend the most time in front of a screen are more likely to face weight challenges: over ½ the excess weight gain in older children is linked to too much screen time. Balance screen time with other activities. Put a limit on total daily screen time and add an hour of physical activity each day. If you child does not like sports; try enrolling him in a local recreation center or gym. Look into other group activities, like scouting. Get him a few sessions with a personal trainer, so he can learn the best way to workout on his own.

1 comment:

HowToMe said...

Wonderful advice :-)