You hear it in the movies and see it on the playing fields--- coaches telling players to do push-ups or run laps when they mess up. Kids playing football and one shows poor sportsmanship, so she’s told to run laps. Another kid gets mouthy and he’s told to do push-ups. Maye this is a way of using up some of their excess energy or getting them to focus—I’m not sure.
Then we wonder why many adults view exercise as some sort of punishment?
Umm, yeah--- because it was.
So what do we do?
Well, first, we remember that a healthy view of exercise can start when children are young. We don’t use it as a punishment or consequence for negative behavior, but encourage it as part of a routine. We make it play--- we make it fun.
And we also make it a responsibility. Your children mirror what they see you doing. Be excited to go to the gym. Share some of your training with them. Let them know that if you have that extra 500 calorie snack, you then have to do x amount of activity. In other words, make it normal.
We want what’s best for our children. We want them to be healthy and strong. So why discourage that by using exercise to ‘punish’ them?
Instead, use exercise as a time for bonding. Alex and I get active together. Sometimes, she ‘works out’ by doing exercises, and other times we just go hiking or for a ride on our scooters. We’re doing things we enjoy, together--- which is setting her up to have a positive view on being active and healthy for her whole life.
Why would I want to spoil that by introducing push-ups, sprints or running laps as a punishment?