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A new study confirms as children age, they exercise less

One of the goals of this blog is to provide parenting tips and guide you to resources for assistance…all in an effort to help you at the most important job you will every have – being a parent. From time to time, we’ll write articles in this blog about information that catches our eye.

I recently read about the results of a long-term study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The study provides the results of how the amount of exercise children in the USA get each day drops dramatically from age 9 to 15. Nine-year-olds get 3 hours a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. At 15, the amount drops to less than 50 minutes. In fact fewer than one-third of 15 year-olds get 60 minutes a day.

To put this into perspective, the federal government recommends a minimum of 1 hour of activity a day. This inactivity helps explain why one-third of children in the USA – about 23 million ages 2-19 – are overweight and puts them at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems.

You can read more about this study: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/300/3/295

Think about how you can accomplish two important tasks – spending time with your kids and promoting physical activity. Join your kids in walking the dog, shooting baskets or kicking the soccer ball. It will be time well spent.

Is Time Out a good discipline technique?

Parents are often quick to use “Time Out” as a discipline tool because it is a widely used practice.  Physicians, teachers, and other parents frequently recommend “Time Out” as a way to correct common misbehaviors.  The problem with this thinking is, “Time Out” most often increases the intensity of the power struggle.

“Time Out” is not the same as removing the child from the situation.  For children under the age of 3, using one or more of the Remove and Redirect strategies are most helpful:

· Remove the object

· Remove the child from the environment  (This is not “Time Out”)

· Redirect the child’s attention

· Redirect the child’s activity

After the age of three (and even younger for some children), they understand that they are “independent beings” and using “Time Out” will only intensify the power struggle.  We cannot impose our will on another human being – even a child.  When we try to exercise power over a child, they will naturally fight back.  How can we possibly force a child to stay in “Time Out”?  Some children who are less “spirited” may do as they are told and remain in “Time Out” for the prescribed time – but what are they learning about their misbehavior? Are they sitting in “Time Out” thinking about their poor choice and about how they will do things differently next time?  Probably not!  Most likely they are “stewing” over how unfair it is that Mom or Dad sent them to “Time Out”!

How is “Time Out” related to most misbehaviors?  In most cases, it isn’t.

For consequences to be effective and to provide learning for future behaviors, they must meet the criteria of the 4 R’s.

You will learn about the 4 R’s as well as many other tools to address misbehaviors by enrolling in Positive Parenting Solutions Online.

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