Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Parent to Parent: Exercise
It's the generation of the couch potato. With electronics filling up our homes, kids these days are not getting outside enough to play. That can have a direct effect, not only on their health, but also with learning. Dr. Valerie has some advice on getting your kids up and moving in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- This may just look like fun and games, but this group of 4-year-olds from the Pink Church in Lighthouse Point is exercising without even knowing it.
Parent Zina Dekkers says she wouldn't have it any other way.
Zina Dekkers: "We ride bikes, we throw balls, we go to the park. We're constantly doing something as a family."
The kids are part of a program called the Tiny Toes Movement -- it combines exercise with learning.
Co-owners Jennifer Mott and Caryn Liszt say the two go hand-in-hand.
Jennifer Mott: "We keep the kids having so much fun they don't even know they're learning. They think they're playing. Meanwhile, we are actually providing them with concepts."
In fact, exercise helps build fine motor skills, attention skills and spatial awareness and can even improve a child's handwriting.
So why don't some kids and most adults not want to do it?
Jennifer Mott: "Exercise has become a separate entity. Something that we have to get up and go do as opposed to just making it part of our daily routine."
That's why 7 Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie says your child should be exercising from birth.
It begins with crawling, but then parents have to make sure to include exercise in their daily routine with plenty of outside play.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "Play with your child, go outside, throw the ball around. Make your child know that this is normal. This is not something that you have to go to a gym to do."
It doesn't have to be organized activities or sports.
Instead of sitting in front of the TV after dinner, go for a walk together.
You could also limit the amount of time your children are on the computer or playing video games.
Dr. Valerie: "If you don't want your children to be participating so much in electronics, don't have so many."
Finally, parents, take a cue from your kids.
Dr. Valerie: "If adults just played, they wouldn't call it exercise. It would just be part of their day, and they would enjoy it."
For these tiny toes, exercise is play...
Jennifer Mott: "We just make it fun, and we get them moving, and we work on their personal best. We're not competitive."
Now that's a lesson the Decker family hopes their kids will always live by.
Zina Dekkers: "The most important thing for me is that my kids know that exercise can be fun, and that if they make it a priority now then it will become a life-long habit, I hope."
Lynn Martinez: "Along with exercise, have plenty of healthy food choices at home for your kids to pick from. And Dr. Valerie says make sure you don't reward or punish your child with food."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 SW 62 Ave. Suite 203
Miami, FL 33143
9184 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL