My children are stronger and healthier than I ever was at their age. That’s not a very lofty target when considering my childhood, but still….That improvement in my next generation, came from conscious hard work. Both on my part and on theirs. My job is to to provide them with the basics when they are with me. After they leave me, what they do is up to them. I would like you to consider physical education as essential and basic as literacy and numeracy. I’m still figuring out how to encourage creativity and reading, and when I do, I’ll post about that.
It has made me a tyrant in their eyes, but, I think they understand the value of physical training now, and there is less resistance when I ask them to train.
Physical literacy is just as important as scholastic achivement, and that is something our generation neglected in our pursuit of secure jobs. The irony of me, an ex-fat kid, now in a “safe” government job, is not lost on me.
There are two main oppositions from parents when it comes to physical training for children.
1. Children aren’t interested
2. Risk of injury
Lack of interest is because
-structured training is boring
-they don’t know where they are going to apply the physical skills they train.
These are both the same problems that teachers run up against when they try to teach them at school too. They find the subjects boring and they don’t know what the use is, beyond exams.
The lack of interest in physical training can be approached the same way as in scholastic training.
– find ways to make the training interesting
– show them how the physical skills will be useful in the future
How do you do that?
– whatever they do, you do. And vice versa
– this will make you look less like a tyrant
– it will bring humour into the session, as we make fun of each other’s clumsiness.
– it will also bring motivation as they see what you’re capable of, and start wanting to be like you and better than you.
– verbal instructions fail. Humans learn by imitation. Be the example your children need you to be.
– as an added bonus you become a physically better specimen
– bonding with your children. Think of when else you spend time together. Does it happen any more? Even meals are while staring at the TV or phone
– the interest you show in the physical education of your children is the biggest driver of their improvement
2. Make them see what their new strength and skill lets them do.
– take them outdoors- trekking, swimming, cycling, camping
– they will see the value of being stronger and faster
– they will see that there is a world beyond the computer and the phone.