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Parenting advice for couch potato kids

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 01-07-2008

Getting kids running around outdoors can be something of a trial these days.

With the advent of video games and the internet, many parents find that their children would prefer to sit in front of their computer than go for a cycle ride or play a game of ball.

But with concerns growing about childhood obesity and the general health of our nation’s youngsters, persuading kids to get off the couch and into the yard has gained a new importance.

With this in mind, Savannah Morning News has spoken to Michelle Aycock, a psychotherapist, to get some parenting advice on the subject.

She noted that the US Department of Health and Human Services states that 12.5 million young Americans now face weight problems and suggested that the key is not to make exercise seem like a chore.

"Making physical activity a family affair is another cheap and easy way to keep your teen active while also building a solid relationship with you," Ms Aycock recommended, adding: "Try making weekly family activity a part of your normal routine – soon to become a family tradition."

Parents should also try to set a good example by staying fit and active themselves, she said.

A recent survey by Disney Family found that many parents are confused about the right nutrition and exercise levels for their children and are in need of advice.
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