Learning to Encourage Active Living with My Kids

The Rock Ice SkatingI did not grow up in a tech-savvy family.  TV’s and VCR’s were the extent of our dabbling in modern technology.

Education in my hometown wasn’t exactly cutting edge.  As a general role, our rural community was about ten years behind the trend when it came to most anything.  Technology was no different.

Fun and entertainment were left to the great outdoors.  Hours of unofficial sports were played in backyards, on the playground, and in the middle of the street.  Long hikes through heavily forested hills were a daily adventure.  Uninhibited bike rides around the neighborhood wore down tire tread after tire tread.

We were active kids.

History has altered my world.  The dawn of the technology has ushered a new way of living.  Devices vie for my attention.  TV’s, computers, tablets, cellphones, and now watches.  It’s nearly impossible to escape their electronic pulse.

Before you accuse me of technophobia, know this.  I am a fan of modern technology.  I’m not about to urge a return to the good ole days.

It’s just that:

Technology can numb you out.

Before you know it, hours of your day have been robbed by a device.  The world outside of the two foot space between you and the screen barely exists.  You are locked in a sedentary position.  Ironically, by the time you set it aside, you are too tired to do anything else.

This isn’t only detrimental to your activity level.  It limits the same for your kids.

It can be a tough choice:  attention to your device or active playing with your kid(s).

I know it’s difficult because I face it on a regular basis.  There’s always work awaiting me on the screen.  It’s never ending.  Not to mention the books I hope to read for pleasure.

My daughters will come to me and ask, “Daddy, can you take me to the park?”  “Daddy, will you play racquetball with me?”  “Daddy, can we ride our bikes to the YMCA?”  Daddy, can we go swimming?”  “Daddy, can I do gymnastics?”

I find myself saying, “I don’t know.  Let me finish this first and see what we can do.”  You know what that means.  Technology wins.  My daughter(s) loses.

I am making a decision this New Year.

I will encourage active living with my kids by accepting their invitation.

I commit to making my answer, “Yes.”

Swimming?  Yes.  Tennis?  Yes.  The playground?  Yes.  Let’s make it happen.

Every “no” discourages their young hearts.  It sends them running to the devices.

I had too much fun as an active kid to rob my daughters of the same joy.

This will be the year I learn to encourage my kids to embrace the beauty of active living.

 

 

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