An article from The Atlantic, published back in 2014, is cycling around social media again. It addresses the importance of activity and exercise in the ongoing development of the brain and of skills that help our kids build resilience, mental flexibility and academic success.
Baffling to us here at Solutions Parenting Support is that consistent activity for kids does not have more support in our school systems and in our homes.
We often talk with parents about getting kids in the routine, as early as possible, of being involved in a sport or active group at least 3 days a week. The sooner a child knows that it is part of the family expectation, the sooner they get into the habit. This does not mean that they need to be involved in 3 sports or activities at a time, which creates too much tension on the family system. This also does not mean it has to be a team sport. Some kids are just not built for that, but they can get involved in climbing, yoga, paddling and all sorts of other non-team related activities.
Growing up, before being involved in sports, my weekends were outside. I left the house and played in the neighborhood with other kids; we rode our bikes around all day, we made up our own games with imaginative play; we played football in a neighbor’s yard; we didn’t come home until just before dark. I know things have changed and I still grieve the reality and the fear and the over protectionist attitude of many. However, fewer kids seem to be expected to go outside, to be active, before getting in front of a screen. That’s a topic for another time.
Let’s continue to the revolution to get our kids out there! For those interested, you can check out ways to donate and talk with local legislators to get physical education back at the top of the list. Here is one site to check out: PHIT America
Remember, the best way to get your kids outside, is to go with them.
Be the adult you hope they grow to become…check out this book for yourself, by neuroscientist Dr. Wendy Suzuki: Healthy Brain, Happy Life
Check out The Atlantic article: Exercise is ADHD Medication
Hilary Moses, LCSW is the co-owner of Solutions Parenting Support, providing services specifically for parents who are in need of support and guidance throughout their child’s treatment and transitional process. Solutions Parenting Support offers practical, educational and compassionate support while teaching effective parenting to sustain ongoing growth. They continually honor the family’s therapeutic process and creatively support the unique needs of each individual family.