As I was watching the news last night, I was absolutely horrified by a story they ran on a segment called "Kids Watch," about parents hiring personal trainers for children as young as seven. Wait, what? A personal trainer for a seven year old, really? Working parents are shelling out as much as one hundred dollars per hour for a session with a certified personal trainer for their children. Really? I really need to reconsider my career choice. The only problem is that this story left me feeling terrible for these children and wanting to knock some sense into their parents. Really, the parents who were being interviewed kept saying "We really didn't know what to do to get our kid off the couch in front of the t.v." Really? How about telling them to go outside and play. You live in a townhouse and you really don't have a yard? Okay, why not bring them to the park to play? A trip to the park to play for an hour will save you a hundred dollars, and help build a strong bond between you and your child—if said parent can manage to disconnect from their wireless headset, or texting for that time. I can't tell you how many times I bring my children to the park and see their parents making phone call after phone call, or continuously texting as their child is vying desperately for their attention. Look, I get it, we all need space. But as a parent, your shift does not end until the rugrats are fast asleep. Even then, if duty calls, you have to trounce to their room to console them from their bad dream, help them to the bathroom, find their teddy bear, or any other of a thousand unforeseen minor emergencies.
When I was a child, my mother would say "I don't care what you do so long as you do it outside." Boy, was that a dangerous thing to say! Really? You don't care WHAT I do? I get the idea though. When I was a kid, I spent countless hours with the children in my neighborhood playing baseball, football, kick the can, basketball, jai alai, riding bikes, etc. (Okay, I am just kidding about the jai alai thing, but what a cool sport. It looks like it should be included in a Madmax film.) I see a ton of working parents at the Y that I go to. They work hard all day, but still manage to get to the gym for a workout, setting a great example for their children. Their children get to be active while they are there as well through a variety of activities.
Okay, that is my miniature diatribe for the day. Am I off base here? Is it crazy to think that your children should be active throughout the week without the help of a personal trainer? Kids like to play. Get rid of the 'Crack Station,' or whatever else is keeping them or their parents glued to the couch.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that older kids not watch more than 1–2 hours of TV or video per day, and that kids under age 2 not watch any television. They also recommend that the shows children watch be nonviolent and educational. Above all, TV shouldn't be a substitute for activities like playing, exercising, or reading."
More soon, happy training!