When our babies turn into toddlers, they are a cute little bundle on energy. They are so hyperactive that we wonder where do they get all that energy from! Sometimes it even gets exasperating because they expect us to keep up with them! But this joy and marvel at their display of energy and activity is short lived. As soon as your child gets near teenage, activity levels start coming down and in teenage, it will take supreme effort on your part to even make them do regular chores that everyone should be doing! You will want your son to go and play ball, but he would rather just lie on the couch. You will try to encourage your daughter to take up swimming, but she would rather just keep tapping at her phone or tablet. You can't help but wonder, what happened to your "little bundle of energy"!
You are not alone. All parents go through emotional lows when their children turn into lazy teenagers. Here are a few ways to deal with your lazy teen, and to make him/her more active.
1. Set Rules. Your duty as a parent is now even more important because it is now that your child needs you the most. Even though they are defiant, they need these rules and guidelines. You should have rules regarding:
- Time spent in front of screens (TV, mobile phone, laptop, tablet, gaming console etc)
- Sleeping and waking time
- Time by which they need to be home in the evening
...amongst other things.
2. Get them to do Chores. Even daily chores like doing the laundry or laying the dinner table or doing the dishes etc involve some form of activity for your children. Reward them for chores with pocket money. Teenage is a good time to make your kids start earning their pocket money. It will also teach them value of money and hard work.
3. Be Patient. Your teens will prove to be the biggest test of your patience! Do not give up, but be persistent in your demands. Teenagers will always try to ignore demands made on them, but it is up to us to make them do what is required of them.
4. Don't Mind the Attitude. Teenagers tend to have an attitude on display at all times. They will often ignore you, sometimes get back at you with catty comments, and sometimes even hurt you with their criticism. Take it in your stride.
5. Focus on Extra-Curricular Activities. Encourage your children to sign up for sports or hobby based activities at school. If there is a sports facility near your home, encourage them to use it.
6. Set a Good Example. You can do this by limiting your own TV time and by being active yourself. Make activity and exercise a family fun thing. Get dancing together, go fo walks together. The earlier you start such family traditions the better.