How to get children moving or Why clubs are not enough| Vendula Kosíková
There is no doubt that general exercise in the fresh air is essential for physical health and mental well-being. But how do we make physical activity an integral part of our children’s lives? We asked sports and school psychologist Radka Kulhánková.
There are no manuals, understanding is important
It is perhaps because she grew up in the mountains that she cannot imagine her life without movement. She then combined it with psychology, which she studied at Charles University in Prague. She later sealed this connection with a doctoral degree in Kinanthropology* at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport. More
“Unfortunately, I’m going to disappoint you, there is no general guide that applies to every child,” says sports psychologist Radka Kulhánková, herself a mother of two teenage children who participate in sports at a performance level.
“But it definitely helps to know what and when your child needs most from the development perspective.”
You need to dive in with the children
With a pre-schooler, it should primarily be the parents, who take the child and go out with him.
“The trend nowadays is to take children to clubs with other authorities, even at preschool age, when they are not yet mature enough to do so. Many parents do not realize that they are the ones who have a decisive influence on their child’s development.”
“This is because children under the age of 6 are not yet able to fully participate and integrate into a group. They need an adult by their side to give them confidence and help them overcome uncertainty when learning new activities and coping with unfamiliar situations.
If you want your child to function in some way, function yourselves in that way.
Pre-schoolers are like sponges that soak up everything that is happening around them. And because they learn the most by observation, they need to see how you do it, they need a role model and an individual approach, almost until puberty, when they mature psychologically enough to fit in and find their place in a group.”
Developing relationships with peers is also important, of course, but when you observe children in pre-school, most of the time each one plays separately. The most important bond in pre-school and younger school age is really the parent-child bond.”
The body is sensitive to the development of certain movement skills only for a certain period of time
Movement activity is food for the brain, diverse movement promotes the formation of new neural pathways, thus developing so-called motor intelligence, creativity and thinking.
“Don’t waste a child’s first 10 years, when their body is the most receptive. Go outdoors with them, swim, climb hills, ride bikes, take hikes, and do it regularly and regardless of the weather .
In short, give them varied, natural movement that will give them a good foundation for all sports. The time for specialisation comes much later – after the age of nine for girls and 2-3 years later for boys.”
How to motivate children correctly
Parenting is both a joy and a chore, especially in the first 10 years of a child’s life, when movement, social, eating and other life habits are formed.
But don’t worry, we won’t leave you alone in this. In the following articles, we will tell you how to motivate children properly. Why it is good to expose children to discomfort on a regular basis. What kind of approach do boys need and what kind of approach do girls need. How to evaluate their performance, etc.
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