I was looking through my pictures the other day and came upon a photo of my daughter Vivian riding without her training wheels for the first time. Honestly, I can't think of a happier day in my life. A former neighbor of mine, who has four kids, once said to me that there are two great things that kids have to master. One is pumping a swing and the other is riding a bike. Viv had mastered the swing back in preschool. Riding a bike, however, had eluded her for a few more years. So the day that she finally "got it" I was especially happy.
The problem now days is that there isn't enough emphasis on teaching our kids the simple joy of movement. What fun is racing to the big tree, riding your bike as fast as you can, swinging, wrestling, and hitting a baseball, when the xbox with its lifelike graphics is waiting inside with a bag of potato chips? More weight is placed on learning computer skills and knowing what the Kardashians are doing at an age when physical activity is far more important. When there is a push for physical activity or sport, everyone gets a medal for participating. What does that teach our kids? It surely doesn't teach them how to push the limits in order to win. It also doesn't teach them what it feels like to lose. Both are equally important. Furthermore, it doesn't teach them how good it feels just to be active.
Right now our country suffers from the fact that sixty eight percent of our population is overweight or obese. There are one hundred pound five year olds out there. Our chubbiness is ruining our productivity, economy, competitiveness, and, no matter what the politicians are saying, driving our healthcare costs through the roof. So my advice to you is next time the kids are inside watching the boob tube on a nice day, kick their butts out the door to play. They will thank you for it someday.
Spin Splash Dash