September 25, 2017

Summer Sports and Activities for Children by Maggie Ayre

How Hard Should You Push Your Kids to Participate in Summer Sports/Physical Activity?

Ask yourself this question…. If you left your child to their own devices what would they choose to do with their summer holiday?

Some children would take themselves out every day to the skate park, to the beach, on a bicycle ride or arrange to meet their friends to go swimming.  These kids don’t need to be encouraged to take part in other activities unless you’re concerned that they are spending too much time by themselves or with a group of friends you do not approve of.

Other children would get out of bed late and collapse in front of the TV or computer screen for hours and days on end.  These children could do with some encouragement to be more active! I’m not a big fan of the term “push” when it comes to dealing with our children.  It may work with very young children who are happy for you to make choices for them but should be avoided with older children and teens.  In my experience it tends to back fire leading to resentment, ill feeling and a general bad atmosphere. Instead I would encourage you to have a two-way conversation with your child with the aim of finding an activity, or several activities, they would be happy spending the summer doing. Make it clear to them that you expect them to be active and get plenty of fresh air.  How they do that is then up to them.

Kids summer activities tend to fall into three main categories:
1.    Organised sports.  These are great for making new friends and learning, or perfecting, new skills.  They are normally organised through a private company, youth club etc with adults on had to instruct, coach and manage the sessions.  You will find a huge variety of organised summer clubs in your area.
2.    Activities.  These tend to be less structured and organised by groups of friends.  The activities available will depend on what is available locally and could range from meeting up for a jog, cycle or swim or a day out at the beach or in the countryside.
3.    Family days out.  Younger children in particular love a family bicycle ride or picnic in the countryside but they are also a great way to reengage with older children and teens.  Family activities are also the perfect opportunity to show your kids what a great role model you are.

Maggie Ayre is the UKs leading Fitness Coach for Teen Girls. As well as one-to-one and small group nutrition and fitness work with teens she has developed the 3G Program designed to be run at schools as part of the PE curriculum. She also offers mentoring for PE departments on how to re-engage teen girls with PE and has recently published her third book; “Nutrition for Exam Success – A Parent’s Guide” which is now available as a Kindle and paperback at Amazon.

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