Article from Wicklow People, on by Myles Buchanan.
LISA Redmond, who runs Active Academy, says Covid-19 is the perfect time to teach your kids basic skills, such as hopping and jumping.
‘Can your child jump? Do they know it’s OK to fail?
‘Normally, you’d feel guilty if you said ‘No’ to both questions.
‘But in Lockdown World, that’s all changing – and whilst the negative impact of lockdown has been repeatedly highlighted, what excites me is seeing what our children are gaining.
‘As a children’s fitness consultant I’ve noticed a concerning trend where the children I teach are lacking numerous basic skills such as hopping and jumping. Couple that with a crippling fear of failure and my alarm bells have been ringing.
‘During lockdown, it is fantastic to see so many children outdoors, running, climbing, jumping and being children. Lockdown is affording them the opportunity to develop these skills and grow in confidence as they embrace new activities.
‘Lifestyles have changed over the years and as a result we have children of seven years of age who don’t know how to run around a park or jump with a rope.
‘It’s not a blame game and it’s nobody’s fault. Everyone is doing their best but I also feel that we can’t ignore this issue. It makes my heart happy when I walk through my local park and see children climbing trees, jumping in streams and playing the games we played as children.
‘The amount of children that have learned to cycle without stabilisers during lockdown is amazing. Skates, scooters, skateboards and bikes have been dusted off and are making a comeback bringing back vital skills with them.
‘Because they now have time and without even realising it, parents are helping children to grasp these lost and underdeveloped skills which will have such a positive impact on the children.
‘Lots of children shy away from activities as they feel they aren’t good enough or they know they can’t do certain things. So this time you are spending with your children will have a huge impact on their confidence and willingness to participate in future games and activities.
‘In a lot of my classes I go right back to basics, teaching children how to jump and more importantly how to fail, recover and build resilience. Every few weeks I ensure that I incorporate a lesson plan where the aim is learning to fail.
‘The idea is to refocus how the children think. They live in such an instant world where if something is hard they can turn it off or switch level. It is easy to give up.
‘That’s why I set them tasks where completion is a bonus – winning is in trying.
‘For some children this doesn’t come naturally: they instantly get frustrated, throw the items and can storm off, which makes the lesson even more valuable because now we can teach them skills to apply throughout all areas of life.
‘Starting with the basics: Breath, refocus, be kind to yourself and try again.
‘We can teach children how to react to failure, we can instil mindfulness techniques without them even knowing and prepare them to deal with challenges as opposed to giving up and walking away.
‘The sense of achievement the children get when they finally achieve the task is immeasurable. You can see how much they value that achievement because it didn’t come easy. They’ve worked hard to earn it therefore it means something to them.
‘We can show them that we don’t always get it right but we must keep trying because this trying builds character and resilience, not the completion of the task.
‘It’s hard as a parent to watch your child struggle with something and our natural reaction is to help them BUT are we helping them? It is OK to let them fail, let them struggle to build the skill and achieve themselves.
‘We can set our children some tasks during lockdown to help with this.
‘Get them to design their own jumping obstacle course using household items. Add in side jumps, forward jumps, high jumps, low jumps, frog jumps, crocodile jumps and let them go for it.
‘If you need some ideas you can check out @ sngwicklow where you will find some examples of obstacle courses and lots more.
‘Think of a skill your child is finding hard and develop a task around it. It might be learning to juggle tennis balls, a football skill, tying laces or anything that is a challenge to them. Try not to focus on the end result but look at how they deal with the challenge.
‘Do they give up instantly? Do they blame themselves? Do they blame you? Do they get frustrated? Their reaction is what you focus on. Encouraging them to keep going, to step away if they need to.
‘Your job is to let them know it’s OK not to get it but what’s important is to keep trying.
‘As parents we never know if we are getting it right, we just hope and do the very best we can. Lifestyle changes have eroded some things that we took for granted so let’s use lockdown to get back to basics.’
See Original Article Here: https://www.pressreader.com/ireland/wicklow-people/20200603/page/14