1) "I can't afford it"
2) "I don't have enough time"
Today I want to respond to each one and discuss why they're completely untrue...
Excuse 1: "I can't afford the cost to have my child play on any teams or pay to have the family engaged in active play."
Trust me. This excuse hits really close to home. I know what it's like having to watch every purchase, only to see credit card debt pile up. It's not very fun.
With that said, I'd like to mention a term I heard awhile back called "The Latte Factor." While applied more towards saving money, this concept is simple. All you do is eliminate one small expenditure on a daily basis, use this money to fund active play for your kids.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
Society and especially kids have been caught up in the electronics revolution. Too many kids are moving their fingers, but not their bodies. The advent and rapid adoption of technology from cell phones to video game consoles leads to sedentary lifestyles, we move our fingers but not our bodies for entertainment. Where are all the fun activiries for kids that we used to do?
The end result is childhood obesity is a growing health risk, we are seeing kids as young as 8 years old with cardiac diseases that normally one does not develop until later in life. Today kids as young as 9 are developing Type II diabetes as a result of inactivity and obesity.
Think about it: As parents often our kids arrive home from school, start playing video games on their phones or game consoles and never move. We arrive home, thinking they are finishing up homework, start dinner, watch a TV show together and head to bed. The result is kids are now spending over 7.5 hours a day on ‘screen time’, the average teenager moves 39.4 minutes per day, with just 4.8% of their time at school actually physically active.
Fun activities for kids
Play is a critical development period in all kids lives; this is where they learn fundamental skills to succeed as adults along with a lifelong live of fitness.
An expert in the childhood development, Peter Gray, gives us further insight. "Play is nature's means for young human beings to acquire the skills to develop successfully into adulthood". Peter Gray, a professor at Boston College, recently spoke for 16 minutes on the evolution of childhood and play. You will be amazed of what you learn.
For instance, here are few items people typically buy on a daily basis:
** A latte at Starbuck's Coffee (Hence "The Latte Factor" expression)
** A pack of cigarettes
** A meal at a fast food restaurant
** An alcoholic drink with your friends after work
Seriously, let's say you spend an average of $5 a day on one of these expenditures. If you add that up, it's $150 a month. Ten dollars is more than enough to afford to have your kids be physically active and engaged in active play for a month. To tell you the truth that's a little less than what I spend for all of my kids to be physically active, having fun, developing new skills and having both their body and brains engaged in a positive way. Far more than just their fingers!
Unless you're the most frugal person in the world, you can find ways to afford a subscription cost that engages kids and gets them active and healthy. I like my cup of tea from Starbuck's as much as the next person.
But if I knew giving it up for a few months would make a better future, you better believe I'd eliminate this habit in a New York Minute.
Excuse 2: "I don't have enough time to play with the kids or to cart them from practice and games."
Again, I can sympathize with this excuse. I've gone through those periods of life where it seems like there's never enough time. More true if you have a spouse and kids.
I know it's trite, but we're all given the same amount of time each day. The billionaires of the world like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson, all who have raised healthy active children and have a 24-hour day just like you and I. The difference, I feel, is they make the most of what they're given.
Now, I really don't know what your lifestyle is like, but I imagine there are ways you could make more time. For instance, here's what I would do to squeeze more time out of a day:
** Stop watching television…Period.
** Eliminate bad time management habits
** Throw out your video game console. It's a completely meaningless activity.
** Get up an hour early each day or go to sleep one hour later
** Use part of your weekend to engage your kids in physically active games that teach them a love of fitness at young ages. This investment of exercise for kids will stay with them for a lifetime.
Yes, this isn't very fun...it might even cause some stress on the home front, initially. Perhaps you'll have to talk with your "significant other" about what you're trying to achieve.
My point is in order to get the best things in life, you often to make sacrifices along the way. But don't worry, its was well worth it!
Like I said, we all make excuses. Even to this day, I find myself giving reasons for why I don't push past my comfort zone, get off my butt, away from the TV, cell phone and go and do some fun activities for kids. As you're reading this, ask yourself what excuses are YOU making.
To You and Your Family’s Health,