Not every kid is an athlete. Not every kid enjoys competition. Not every kid wants to play team sports. However, EVERY kid does need daily exercise. But what do you do when your kid would rather play video games and stay inside all day? In the case of my oldest daughter, I realized she was not going to naturally be drawn to exercise or sports pretty early on. So, we basically went for the “put her in everything and see what sticks” method and eventually discovered physical activities that she LOVES, from the swim team to regular recess, visits to the park, and family walks on the beach.
As early as two years old, we put her in dance, then gymnastics, and then soccer, and finally swim team. The theme here is that we kept trying. She didn’t fall in love with dance, wasn’t very interested in gymnastics, and would only go on the soccer field if she was holding hands with the coach. None of them worked, but we didn’t give up. We paid attention to the things she really enjoyed and finally, we realized that her love for the pool could mean she may enjoy the swim team. We asked if she was interested, she said yes, tried out and made the team the very next day! As a no-contact sport that involves doing something she loves already – being in the pool, it is a perfect match! Plus, swimming is one of the BEST forms of exercise! Whether or not she will be excited about the races remains to be seen, but all in all, as long as she participates in the weekly practices, I’m a happy momma!
Additionally, we found a school that values activities like daily recess, daily P.E., and even has a voluntary Morning Mile program that we can all do as a family! We also take family walks on the beach, go to the park, and swim in the community pool where we live. We limit electronics time to weekends only and make sure we spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something active, even if I have to rope the girls into doing a home workout with me in our living room. They love the dancing workouts like CIZE or Country Heat!
All children are different and their strengths should be appreciated. If the things they enjoy doing are tended, they will grow and flourish.