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Motivating Your Child to Exercise

"Drop and give me 20" is not exactly going to motivate a child to exercise.

The best way to get a child to exercise is to not let them know they are exercising at all! There are many fun activities that you can do as a family to exercise. Here are some ideas:

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• Go for a walk in the park, around the neighborhood or on a trail. Try hiking in a park with hills and rocks. It will be so much fun; the kids won't even know they are exercising!

• Take you kids to the playground. They will get tons of exercise running around a playground and you can join them!

• Play a game of hopscotch.

• Take a family bike ride together.

• Go roller-skating or ice-skating. It's great exercise as long as moms and dads can keep from falling on their bums!

• Swimming is great exercise and fun for everyone. If the weather is cold, try finding an indoor pool to go to.

• Jump on a trampoline. Yes, moms and dads can jump too! Trampolines are lots of fun and provide quite a workout. Don't be surprised if you are sore the next day.

• Introduce jumping rope to your child. You can even teach them some of those little rhymes you use to sing while jumping rope as a kid.

• Go bowling, believe it or not, bowling provides some physical exercise and can be a family event.

• If you have a pet, have your child take the dog for a walk or throw the ball to the dog in the yard.

• Go snow skiing, sledding or tubing during the winter. It's great exercise during those cold months.

• Have your kids help you in the garden. Some kids love gardening while others might not. This provides some low-impact exercise for all involved.

• How about a game of tag or hide-and-seek? This is great fun and great exercise for everyone. You can play outside or even indoors during bad weather.

• Put on some music and everyone dance! The kids will love it and get a few laughs out of some of your dance moves!

• Get out the squirt guns! Run, run, run and try to squirt everyone and keep from getting squirted. Kids plus squirt guns equals fun and exercise.

• Try throwing a ball or Frisbee. This provides great exercise with all the running and catching.

• Plan a good old-fashioned family basketball, baseball, or football game.

Just by simply playing outside instead of being stuck in front of the television set provides children with exercise. Be sure to keep the kids well hydrated and practice good eating habits as well. Eating a dozen cookies after a hike kind of defeats the purpose!

Some other ways to get your kids to exercise is to sign them up for karate lessons or another sporting activity such as soccer, horseback riding, cheerleading or basketball. Find out what peaks their interest and go from there.

 

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Top Ten Reasons to Use Parenting Plan Mediation in Divorce

1. The best predictor of the well being of children involved in a divorce is the amount of conflict between parents. In mediation, conflicts are more likely to be resolved, resulting in a more peaceful post-divorce family life.

2. Mediation helps parents create truly thoughtful and child-focused parenting plans that are tailor-made to suit their children’s changing emotional, developmental and temperamental needs as well as the family’s schedule.

3. By thinking through and discussing the parenting plan, possible problems can be identified and resolved before the final judgment is entered by the court.

4. Mediation creates opportunities for parents to work together and build on their strengths as they redefine the parental unit within the family. Parents who can model good conflict resolution skills for their children raise children with better conflict resolution skills.

5. A detailed parenting plan sends a message between the parents and others, including the children, new partners, school and court personnel that parenting is an important priority for both parents, even if one parent assumes more hands-on time with the children.

6. A detailed and thorough parenting plan pre-empts back and forth, ‘He Said/She Said,’ arguments if differing views of the co-parenting history emerge.

7. Agreements, including modifications, create a record, or ‘paper trail,’ of what was mutually agreed to when one or both parties were thinking more clearly about the issues involved in successful and co-operative co-parenting.

8. A detailed parenting plan sets forth a method to resolve differences without going to court in case you need to modify the parenting plan when things change, or if new partners, or reluctant children, want to unilaterally change the plan.

9. When co-parents deviate from the parenting plan and then fall into disagreement, a detailed parenting plan provides a useful backup plan until they return to mediation.

10. Mediation provides both parents with the opportunity to explore co-parenting issues with an objective third-party neutral who is a professional trained in children’s developmental needs and is knowledgeable about the research on children’s adjustment to separation and divorce.

 

Diana Mercer, Esq. is an Attorney-Mediator and the founder of Peace Talks Mediation Services in Los Angeles, California (http://www.peace-talks.com). A veteran litigator, she now devotes her practice solely to mediation. Outgoing and down-to-earth, she makes clients and attorneys feel at ease in solving litigation disputes in civil cases, from divorces to employment law and real estate. She is the co-author of Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Fireside 2001). She’s an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and is admitted to practice law in California, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and before the United States Supreme Court.

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