Smartphones, tablets, video games consoles and Instagram; it sometimes seems like there’s a conspiracy to keep the country’s teens on the couch. Maybe big couch is conspiring with the tech world to ensuring a roaring trade?
But seriously, most of the things our teenagers love seem to be tech-based these days, which is making it increasingly difficult to get them off their butts out of the door and active!
If you’re having this kind of trouble with your teen, then it’s time to take action and get them off the couch. Once they’re out in nature, much to their surprise, they’ll probably find that they love it...
Plan a Trip
The easiest way to get your teens to come along on a hiking trip or go fishing with you is to plan it in advance. You see, if you spring the idea on a teen, they might be too engrossed in their game or the latest gossip on Instagram to really be bothered getting up off the couch and doing something different. But, if you plan it in advance, they may be more amenable to the idea - it’s not that they absolutely don’t want to go most of the time, it’s just that they don’t want to go right now. So, give it a try.
Send Them to Camp
If your kid is always watching soccer on TV, find soccer camps in your area and enroll him in it, or if your daughter has shown an interest in cycling, albeit passively, send her off to an adventure camp that includes lots of cycling. There might be some resistance at first, but once they’re there, they’re' probably going to love it because sports camps can really help to build self-esteem and give teenagers a new passion for activity.
Pay Them to Do Chores
Most teenagers are very interested in cash. They want to be able to buy lots of new clothes, games and electronics after all. So, instead of making it too easy for them, by simply giving them an allowance no strings attached, or buying them whatever it is they want, make them work for it by doing active chores like gardening, walking the family pet, etc. - anything that gets them moving, and preferably outdoors will do. You might just find that the money will motivate them where other efforts have failed.
Lead By Example
If you’re a couch potato, always glued to Netflix or your Facebook feed yourself, you’re going to have a pretty hard time convincing your teens to be any different. No, you need to lead by example - sign up to the local gym and ask them to tag along, go for a walk after dinner or do yoga and invite them to join you or sign up for a rock climbing course and see if they’d like to come along. You might just be surprised by their answer!
I won’t lie, even by employing these techniques, it might not be a walk in the park to ...well get your teens to get up off the couch and go for a walk in the park, but you’re likely to have an easier time of it than the parent who tries to simply force their kids to get moving without having any strategies at all. Good luck!