Screen Time and Other Obstacles to Physical Activity

How to Overcome Obstacles to Physical Activity in Toddlers

With the advent of smart phones, video games and computers, dealing with a kid’s screen time can become a challenge for parents. This article will help you in promoting physical activity in a toddler’s life.

Getting children to spend time on physical activities can be a big challenge for parents. With obstacles like screen time, hectic work schedules and over-dependence on prams and strollers, getting children to run and play can get difficult for parents. While these barriers can be challenging, it is not impossible to overcome them. The key is to identify what is getting in the way of your child’s physical activity, and then finding a way out.

Tips to Overcome Obstacles

1. Screen time

One of the biggest obstacles to physical activity is screen time. It refers to the time children spend watching television, playing games (video or computer games), and the time spent on tablets and smartphones. Screen time can be good entertainment, and a valuable source of learning in children, but too much of it could turn them into couch potatoes. It could also impair the development of communication and social skills in your children, all of which are necessary for kids to grow and evolve into people with good personalities.
Today, most parents think that it is natural for children to spend time with gadgets and gizmos. While children today are more tech-savvy, and likely to embrace technology as part and parcel of their lives, limiting screen time is equally important. To limit screen time, parents can chalk out and strictly implement certain hours as screen time, outside of which children should not be permitted to watch television or play with phones and tablets. It might also be a good idea not to have any screen time on certain days.
It is also equally important for parents to take children out to parks and recreation centers. Exposing children to nature and encouraging them to take up sports will teach them important life skills. Playing with other children gives them an opportunity to imbibe team spirit and interact with peers.

2. Limited Space for Physical Activity

Sometimes parents may feel restricted by limited space for a child’s physical activity. In such cases, they can look out for parks and recreation centers nearby. If there are none around your residential area, it might prove to be a deterrent. All parents must make an effort to take their children out to the beach, park or recreation center for a few hours, every week.

3. Hectic Work Schedules

Your work schedule may not permit you to spend time on physical activity with your children. You can easily overcome this obstacle by taking turns to play with your children or take them out. Ask a friend or neighbor to share the responsibility with you.

4. Prams and Strollers as Obstacles

Prams and strollers are convenient ways to move smaller children around. But keeping children seated or sleeping with them around on a sunny day for long hours, will only serve to instill and encourage lethargy early on. In such a case, you should encourage your child to walk and go to the park whenever possible.

Physical activity is a must for the all-around growth and development of your child. Modern-day living can present many obstacles to it. Instead of feeling puzzled about how to overcome obstacles to physical activity in children, parents must stay committed to the cause, and find new ways to overcome the obstacles.

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