There are all sorts of news stories and public service announcements talking about getting outside and playing with your children. With childhood obesity on the rise –the CDC reports that since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled – it is important to make moving and exercising fun. But I am here to provide an important PSA directed specifically toward you: you are no longer the spring chicken you think you are.
I am all for putting down that electronic device you are addicted to (and you know you are) and playing with your kids. But let me offer you the 10 rules for playing with your children:
10. If your child is the quarterback of his football team and he asks you to play catch; don’t. The work lost by jamming all your fingers as you attempt to grab that little rocket is too expensive at your age. You need all those productive work days in order to pay for that little cherub’s college.
9. When playing Twister, if the move to put your ‘left hand on yellow’ requires you to contort in such a way that you can’t tell your hands from your feet, gracefully bow out. Believe me, between all the vegetables and ground sirloin in your freezer, you don’t have room for those big ice packs your physical therapist is going to require you to use at home in between sessions.
8. Monkey bars? This is a perfect opportunity for ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ unless you want to have double jointed shoulders for the remainder of your adult life.
7. If you think that ‘double under’ refers to your chin and not a jump rope; please don’t attempt any rope jumping at home alone. You will require a spotter.
6. If your youngster is calling you a ‘wuss’ for not trying to balance on a floatable board on a swell of water on anything other than your belly, smile politely and sit your butt right back down on that towel.
5. Same thing goes for boards that move on concrete. Do I need to say concrete one more time?
4. Do you know when a diamond is not a girl’s best friend? When the girl is pushing forty, they are black and they come in multiples. This is a time when more is not necessarily better.
3. Trying to return any sort of ball with your head is not encouraged. Children’s brains do not fully develop until they are well out of their teens. I think this began with the prevalence of soccer.
2. If the last time you went roller skating it was referred to as er,.. roller skating and you needed a key, take it slow.
1. Proceed with caution when taking your high schooler to the gym. Exercises don’t always match their names. For example, cutely named ‘jumpies’ and ‘burpies’ aren’t quite so cute after you’ve survived 50 of them. However, other exercises, like ‘suicides’ are exactly as they sound.
Other than that, tie up those shoes, put on those knee pads, pop some Advil and have fun!