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does anyone else have a child that loathes physical activity? any tips?

(12 Posts)
CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 03-Jul-11 13:42:05

dd1 is 4.3. she is a lovely, funny, chatty girl. She has always preferred sedentary pursuits - reading, cooking, painting, sylvanians, computer etc, and she hates exercise of any sort. we didn't really worry much about this when she was younger, but now she is older it's more of a concern, especially as she has a good appetite and a tendency to put on weight.

i think one of the problems is that she's poorly coordinated, and so struggles eg with catching a ball, riding a bike, coordinating arms and legs to swim. because things are hard for her, she then gets downhearted, and doesn't want to do them anymore. DH and i try to provide her with reasonable role models - going out for walks and bike rides when we can. she moans after 5mins and it's hard to distract her and keep her spirits up. i just wondered if anyone has any experience in successfully motivating dc to become active?

FriskyMare Sun 03-Jul-11 13:49:27

Trampoline? Dance classes?

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 03-Jul-11 13:56:19

thanks frisky. we have a mini trampoline (rusting, while dd1 plays indoors) but no room for a biggie. we are considering dance classes, but at the moment she has swimming lessons (during which she does very little hmm) and i can't stretch to both. when the next block of swimming lessons ends in a few weeks we might look at starting dance if she would prefer.

FriskyMare Sun 03-Jul-11 14:01:48

Do you have a Wii ? The Just Dance games are great fun and knackering! I think they do a younger childs version too. I have an inactive ds (11) who is skinny and whilst he enjoys running and cycling, dislikes other sports like football etc, he's starting secondary school in september so will have to play even more sports then!

Niecie Sun 03-Jul-11 14:10:47

I have a DS1 who is nearly 11 who is like this. He is dyspraxic and is very hard to motivate about physical activity. He is an indoor person too.

I think walking is really the best thing that you can do. DS used to moan a lot but has got better. I talked to his OT about it and she said to just keep plugging on. There is no easy way to get fitter and more active than to just do it. Swimming is hard, he doesn't do team sports, he can't ride a bike so all that is left is walking.

We get the least moaning when there is a bribery involved - either an ice cream at the end of a a walk or the chance to play on the computer or something. Alternatively, include something in the walk that will make it interesting. Yesterday we went to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed and DS is a car nut. There was a lot of of walking (I was knackered too) but there was very little moaning about the walking because it was part of doing something that interested him.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 03-Jul-11 14:17:11

yes, at least with walking there are no hard bits, she can just get up and do. it's just finding ways to make it interesting. we've a big park with a very good adventure playground nearby, so we walk there a lot, but i need to find some other good bribes motivators too.

and in some ways it's good that the school we've chosen for her is a mile away, so she'll be walking 2 miles a day, 3x weekly (i work 2 days so will be driving then).

Frisky, i may just check out the Wii at Christmas.

swash Sun 03-Jul-11 15:05:59

My DD is like this but she loved the formal ballet class (proper pink uniform. ex-ballerina teacher who is strict but charming). She loved her mini-micro scooter (which is good for kids who can't balance well). Now she is older, she has become more active and tougher. She does swimming classes and is loving those. DH used to take her with her big brother, but the emphasis was on splashing around, having fun in the water - it meant she was not scared in the water, so was happy to go to fun swimming classes at 6.

We always walked everywhere because I don't drive, so that seemed to be enough exercise.

Niecie Sun 03-Jul-11 16:25:24

Yes, as a child I wasn't sporty but I walked to and from school every day, which was only 15 minutes at primary but was a 5 mile round trip at secondary. My parents didn't have a car until I was 10 so we used to walk everywhere then. It certainly builds stamina.

Unfortunately for my DS we live next door to the school so by the time you have walked round to the gate and actually go into school it is 5 minutes, tops. Not nearly far enough for any of us!

I am in 2 minds about the Wii. We got one to get DS moving but after a while all he wanted to play were the sit down games. He stopped playing the more active sporty ones so we were no better off than before.

mdavza Sun 03-Jul-11 22:04:09

My borther and his family have started doing Geocaching to get their very sedentary youngest DD out of the house, and you won't believe how much she loves it - goes running around after the 'treasure', you should give it a try.

manchestermummy Mon 04-Jul-11 10:05:54

My DD's a little like this. She's a but younger, but we've been working on physical activity now. We started swimming lessons at the start of this year and we've also started gymnastics. The former she hated at first (water phobic) but loves it now and the latter she adores: lots of jumping and swinging. And we walk everywhere. She doesn't like walking but does playgrounds, so the sweetner is we'll drive to the playground, if you see what I mean.

I was completely sedentary as a child and overweight as a result. My parents still think it's odd to keep active.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 04-Jul-11 20:19:41

thanks for all the ideas. i think geocaching might be a winner in turning a walk into something more fun.

BlueChampagne Wed 06-Jul-11 13:52:10

Not a cheap option, but what about horse-riding? Many don't take children till they're 5 but it may be an idea/incentive for the future.

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