On Friday, I sent my mom an article about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Childhood Obesity campaign and a link to a video in which an executive appeared on the Today Show. My mom emailed me back with a few practical suggestions, and these are some of the reasons she was the best mom in the world growing up:
- It is ok to lock your children out of the house in order to make them play outside, (and for a little peace and quiet–so long as you can still see them).
- The best way to “punish” or discipline sometimes is to take away all TV, video and computer access…then they will have to actually play.
- Encourage them by running foot races – just make sure you don’t trip and fall and scrape your knees and elbows and scare them half to death…if you do fall and hurt yourself, be sure not to cry.
- For spring holidays, take every bat and ball and riding toy you can find, put it in a mini-van, call all your friends and take all the kids to the local school playground and let them run and play till their heart’s content.
- When the neighbors get new appliances, put the large cardboard boxes in your front yard and your children will love playing with them. You can have a nice looking yard later.
- Be sure to have a cool Grandma who will do cool things with them and who never turns on the TV to entertain them.
- Encourage Dad to play ball with them in the backyard, even when it puts him at risk of losing a knee-cap.
- Go to mountain cabins a couple of times a year where there is no TV, and take a truck load of bikes, just be sure not to bring back any that don’t belong to you.
- Buy a used Sea Doo and/or boat, and put it in the cool Grandma’s boat dock so your children will play in and on the water.
- Hike to the top of a small mountain with your child when they are home from college, even if you get poured on, just to make it to the top.
- When traveling with younger children, make them run up and down the sidewalks at the rest stops, along with the dogs.
- Serve some kind of fruit with every meal…if they don’t eat the main dish they can live on fruit and rolls till morning.
- If you do all of the above for 20 years, then they will find out they hate to sit and watch TV, at least when the sun is out, they will not waste time going to and sitting at movies in the daytime…and they will be very very active adults!
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, and to all the other mothers out there!