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Active mother’s and active children

I have just been reading this article from the BBC News. It says “The more active a mother is, the more physically active her child will be, suggests a UK study of 500 mums and four-year-olds”.

Mum riding a bike with child

The article and study suggest, children are not ‘born’ active, their activity levels are influenced by how active their mothers are. If their mothers are very active, children will be follow suit. To me this makes sense to a point. Children can be greatly influenced by their parents, they learn by example, by what they see and experience.

I believe my children are very active kids, especially Big Brother, he just won’t sit still. I feel, I am a fairly active mother, though I don’t (unfortunately) do any specific exercise. I am always on the go chasing round after them, just not doing any strenuous physical activity. Does this count? They observe me getting involved, playing with them, joining in their physical games, encouraging them outside. This has got to play a part in them being active (I hope).

However, what about mums who work, they may not get as much of a chance to be physically active with their children, surely this doesn’t mean their children are not active?!

I think we all need to take responsibility for encouraging children’s physical activity, the mothers, the fathers and the child care providers. It can’t all be laid on the mothers shoulders. Children often spend time in various settings and are usually influenced by a variety of people. Has this been taken into account in this study?

We can all help children be active. Encourage and join in with outdoor play, go for walks, bike rides, scooters, climb tress, dance to music, jump, have races, the list is endless. Take a look at my ideas for garden play in winter for some inspiration. Turn off the TV and computer and join in the fun.

How active are you as a mother, does this reflect in how active your children are?

16 thoughts on “Active mother’s and active children”

  1. We have been out on the bike Father Christmas bought almost every day in January! Getting outside is great but the little one here has got far too used to delicious hot chocolate to warm him up!

  2. I agree with you completely, although I prefer to get out and about if at all possible. Simply because our garden is literally a quagmire and doesn’t lend itself well to too much at this time of year! Great list to inspire 🙂

  3. Having children has made me more active than I was before, my parents took us out a lot as kids, walking and to the beach, and I wanted my children to experience that too. Now we are a family we definitely do more outdoorsey stuff than we did as a couple and we all enjoy it

  4. I am active in the sense that i move around those house to clean, draw and we just walk to and from preschool.

    I also saw that topic and it made me think on how I can be more active. We are starting to go out more to experience the sites around us.

    Your post is a great in a way that it reminds us that it’s not all hugs and kisses but we need to move as well if we love our LOs. Happy Mums Day.

  5. You are very right. We need to more active I think but this is due to the weather over here being not so good lately. Roll on the summer when we will never be inside!!

  6. Children learn by example whether it is a mum, dad or other significant person in their lives.
    My girls are very happy to read-for ages, which I love but I am pleased that they’ve seen us in races and out running so they will hopefully take an interest in years to come.

  7. Great post! I have regularly started walking to school with Grace – a) to set her a good example and b) to get fitter myself. We also regularly have a go on the Wii Fit too. I was active as a child and I want her to be the same.

  8. I agree, it can’t all be down to how active the mother is, kids are influenced by so many people around them.

    I’m like you, running around after monkey constantly, and he is on the go alll the time, so far not a child to sit and watch the TV for any length of time (no matter how much I wish he would on occasion so I could get a rest 😉 ).

    We do like to keep him active but I don’t think it;s fair to blame it entirely on the mum as like you say, those who work and don;t get a chance to be active with their kids shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for it.

  9. Yes I saw that news story too, although didn’t read the actual research. Makes sense! I guess we will never fully know whether it’s nature/nurture but being active as a parent and trying to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle has all got to be good!

  10. I think there’s some truth in the article you mention, but it’s probably over-simplifying things. There must be so many factors that affect a child’s activity levels.

    I imagine that where you live, what activities your school offers, what sort of family you come from etc all must play a part. And then there’s personality!

    My two sons are both fairly active but one of them is more so just because that’s what he’s like!

  11. I believe care providers make all the difference, especially mothers. We don’t have forest schools in my area but I am going to try and find a preschool next year that focuses more on getting the kids outdoors. Love this post!

  12. I’m active outdoors but I’m also a working mom, so like you I believe child care providers are key to getting kids outside. That’s what I like so much about forest schools!

  13. I’m quite active (I like running) and by default so are the kids as we go out on our bikes and for walks quite a lot. However my kids are more than capable of slumping in front of TV screens and tablets too, and I fear they’d do this a lot more if they had the chance.

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