Surprising reasons why some kids don’t exercise
Too much stress, an introverted personality, just doesn’t like sports
We might think kids who don’t get out and play or exercise are just lazy or are too caught up in their TVs, phones, or electronics.
But, says Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, there can be other, more compelling reasons for some kids. Like stress, fear of embarrassment, and personality type.
Stressed-out children often feel tired and withdrawn, says Kathleen Hill, licensed therapist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life. “We’re seeing a definite increase in kids dealing with chronic stress, anxiety and depression,” she says. “As adults we know those things affect our mood and our decisions to have fun and be active and playful.”
She continues, noting that certain personality types tend to be less active. Children who are shy and introverted often don’t feel comfortable running outside to play with the neighborhood kids, for example. A child who has been bullied will feel even less comfortable.
And of course, some kids simply aren’t into sports or outdoor play.
The good news? Here are some creative ways you can help.
- Choose your child’s favorite book and do a themed scavenger hunt. A Harry Potter lover might hunt for an owl or a broom on someone’s porch.
- Take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, consider volunteering to walk dogs at a local Humane Society.
- Get creative with sidewalk chalk.
- Cue up your favorite music and dance.
- Talk to your child about ways s/he may enjoy being active; save the list when s/he needs ideas.
Visit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the whole story, and lots of other resources.