Should I force my son to exercise?

Sports refusers - When children don't want to do sports

Text: K.L., mother / Last update: 16.01.2021


Table of contents of this article:

My child doesn't want to do sports

The school entrance examination is due. In addition to a hearing and eye test, checking your body weight is one of the necessary examinations.

The 6-year-old Moritz is reluctant to step on the scales because he knows exactly what is coming next. A look at the display shows that you are clearly overweight and worry lines grow on the pediatrician's forehead. "Ms. Schmidt - her son has to change his diet and do sport urgently!".

Oh yes, the tiresome subject of sports! Playing sports games, competing with others in a race or doing the given exercises on the equipment - what adolescents enjoy, especially overweight children and adolescents cause problems. They torture themselves before every sports lesson and invent a thousand excuses to get hold of a sports exemption. Membership in the sports club? Also nil. And exercise is usually neglected even in leisure time. And this would be so urgently needed!

Reasons to refuse sport

There are usually two reasons that obese children prevent sports. On the one hand, they quickly get out of breath and feel quickly pushed to their limits by the physical strain. You sweat, have breathing problems and are not in any physical condition. And on the other hand, they fear embarrassment. Who wants to be the last one in the 1000 m run forever? Who is so awkward that he plops off the uneven bars like a wet sack? Unfortunately, children can be very cruel and hurt their plump, unsportsmanlike classmates with words in such a way that they automatically lose any desire to exercise. To awaken this desire again and automatically do something about the extra pounds would indeed be desirable. (Obesity in children) But how do you motivate your child to do more physical activity?

How do you animate those who refuse to exercise?

A Chinese proverb says: "Even the longest journey begins with the first step". This ancient wisdom can be taken literally. No longer play the chauffeur for your children, but walk to kindergarten or school. And if you don't live in the mountains, the daily trips can easily be covered by bike. In this way, sporting activity flows into everyday life by the way, without being directly named as a "training unit".

Sport has to be fun - no question about it. Find out what your child is up to! Maybe it doesn't like sports games, but would rather be on inline skates. Girls like to go dancing or play badminton. Martial arts not only train the ability to react, but also convey self-confidence and self-confidence. Properties that disadvantaged children in particular can urgently need. Sports clubs often offer trial lessons so that the youngsters can get to know a new sport without any obligation. But be careful: unfortunately, many clubs are very performance-oriented and the pressure prevailing there has an unfavorable effect on the children. But overweight kids in particular should first of all have fun exercising again and not be rushed with the stopwatch on their necks. There is already enough pressure to perform from the teachers and the usual grading in school and should therefore be kept away from leisure time.

Have you ever leafed through the current information booklet of your adult education center? In almost all larger cities, courses are offered specifically for children with increased body weight. The kids don't have to be ashamed here, because the other course participants are on a similar level and just as easily get out of breath. Very slowly, step by step, the stamina is built up again and with more movement the pounds melt away. Every pound less on the scales is immediately noticeable and makes the movement sequences easier. In addition to the adult education centers, health insurance companies also offer Prevention sometimes organize sports programs for children. If you participate regularly, the costs will even be reimbursed in full or in part.

The weekends and holidays can also be made active. In terms of sport, it becomes a worthwhile destination on a nice bike tour. Or go back together again swim! Also a long hike - maybe with Geocaching, the modern scavenger hunt, lures those who don't like exercise from the couch. It gets adventurous with a tour in the Canadier on the rivers or lakes in the area. What is important is a goal; something that the kid will enjoy and that is worth raising your butt for. This can be a museum or a great adventure playground on the go. Or a picnic by the campfire. Maybe a friend would like to exercise more as well. A lot is easier together and if there is enough to laugh about, then the movement happens quite incidentally.

Articles worth reading:

Sports for children:

Children & adolescents: