Maybe it’s their boy-ness. It could possibly be the athletic genes in their DNA. Whatever it is, my boys have a LOT of it bottled up within them each day. And I need them to get it out! I have two active kids that have nothing but energy to expend day in and day out. Keeping kids active is all about allowing them to explore their creativity and letting them determine where they excel. It’s also beneficial to me! I spend less time chasing them and more time channeling positive ways to exhaust them first! in a roundabout way, that will help them sleep at night. As a mom, it is important to me to encourage and help my boys discover activities that will help them that energy appropriately. With that, I wanted to share a few things my boys are doing to stay active.
One thing the boys have both enjoyed recently is Muay Thai. Once a week they have training sessions where they get stretched physically, mentally and emotionally. I like it because the stretching components allow them to lean into meditative practices before exerting any physical activity. But there are other soft skills they learn that I definitely think will aid in their development and growth. Muay Thai training allows my boys to see the importance of building on something weekly and developing resilience. They can practice week after week and get better at it with a little determination. That’s a giant lesson in itself!
Beyond that, Muay Thai helps students set goals and apply conflict resolution skills to social issues. Further, it teaches them the value of respect and respecting others. These are things I know they will need in life no matter what they choose to do. I’m so sure my two littles will appreciate them later on. They get all of this while being physical and exerting all their kiddie energy with each session.
While Muay Thai is very physical, I engage my active kids with not-so-physical activities, also. They’re both playing piano, and that keeps them involved beyond their lessons. Songs and music turn into dance parties and impromptu piano playing, and that’s fun for the entire family.
Like Muay Thai, playing piano enhances my boys on more than one level. The coordination needed stimulates brain activity and impacts positive mental health. Learning pieces of music helps boost self-esteem, while the concentration and focus needed to play help to improve their focus. Recent studies also show that playing the piano can even strengthen muscles in the hand and fingers, which is great for little active kids like my two!
How are my boys doing in these activities? Honestly, one is better at the piano, and the other enjoys Muay Thai more. And that’s perfectly fine! When they express interest in something, I want to encourage it as much as I can. And, I like the idea of keeping my boys in things together. It allows them to support each other when one thrives and the other doesn’t. Eventually, I may split them up as they grow. For now, though, I like that they can both experience things at different skill levels.
I have recently encouraged my father to do more golfing with my sons. A part of that is getting more bonding time for my boys and their granddad. Also, I took lessons as a young child. It’s sort of a “legacy” sport in our family. It’s a great sport for keeping kids active, and it provokes them to practice and concentrate. Plus, they say many deals are made on the golf course. Maybe golf will have business advantages in their lives.
Golf is about as far as I am comfortable going when it comes to sports. My natural mommy inclination is to protect them and keep them from anything that could harm them. I really have to force myself to encourage rougher sports involvement. There’s keeping kids active in sports, and there’s putting them in activities that could do permanent damage. That line isn’t always clear. However, I have been leaning on trusted male figures in my boys’ lives to help me see the balance and positive aspects of sports. I’m coming around…very slowly.
The ocean and beach have always been a part of our lives. My kids started swimming when they were six months old. They’ve gone multiple times a week ever since. They both have different comfort levels than their peers and each other. My oldest really didn’t get into swimming until this summer (age 5). Again, that’s okay. Sometimes the “patience game” is about the kids, and sometimes parents have to play, also.
Keeping kids active can be achieved in many other ways. From modeling and acting to ballet and more, encourage whatever activities your kids gravitate to. Introduce them to multiple things, and take the time to see what sticks. They (and you) will find a groove and continue their personal momentum in no time!