Now we don’t want to preach as this technology has it’s benefits. It can bring people who are far apart closer together, give us information on tap and it can give us light entertainment when we are at a loose end. Nor do we want to give far-fetched unobtainable advice that WE KNOW you have already tried. Instead, we will offer some simple and realistic alternatives that we feel will actually get children interested in, and playing sports. Sometimes a first step can really lead somewhere!
Firstly we look to China! A huge country with over a billion inhabitants, millions of football fans, so why don’t we see a successful footballing nation? The answer lies in it’s inaccessibility. Most city dwellers have to live in apartment buildings and full sized football pitches are rare. So what sports have come to the fore? Table tennis, volleyball, badminton, basketball! We may not have heard of the same sports starts they have but they are huge in their country. We have three suggestions, varying in the ease with which you can enforce them.
Actually start family days out at the local leisure centre! It could be a day during the week after work or a day on the weekend. This would be good for you too and there is no excuse not to engage in a game such as table tennis or badminton.
If you have a spare room you could buy a small table tennis or pool table. The main problem with this is space, but if possible many children would find excitement in a game of pool or table tennis with their parents or friends. The real thing has to beat a games console, and it could be there at your disposal!
Now if you don’t have time, funds or space to embark upon one of our previous suggestions, we have another solution. Mini basketball hoops are already a staple bedroom accessory in the USA and China and it is an incredibly simple and affordable option. If you have one already you will know how difficult it is to walk past the balls and resist a shot at the hoop, and then usual difficult to stop! This should cost you around £25, introduce your child to a new sports and improve hand-eye co-ordination.
Look at Ourselves
Ask yourself these questions: Could I be more proactive and take more time cooking healthy food? Have I taught my children to cook? For many of us, (myself included) we could definitely do more. Getting your children into the kitchen with you not only prises your children away from their games console but teaches them valuable life lessons.
Think about what you have on TV. Play more sports and take that competitive attitude we know they have online into the sporting environment.
Go for more family days out. We appreciate this can be difficult in this country but days out at the zoo, amusement park or even just the local park can be a regular and way to encourage exercise and family interaction. Take the football, rugby ball, cricket set or even basketball!
We feel these are easy ways to improve your children’s activity and perhaps just as importantly, bring your family together. Please let us know your thoughts and any other suggestions you might have.