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There is no denying that we live in an ever-advancing world, technologically speaking. While once upon a time, every aspect of our existence was manual, now we have devices for pretty much everything.

However, convenience does come at a cost. With devices and technology that can pretty much do everything for us, from Robot vacuums to automated can openers, to clothes folding machines, it’s needless to say that we are collectively getting lazier. Even exercise has been moderated to be a quick fix, with devices that go under your desk to help you work out while working. While I am not saying that technology is a bad thing, when used in excess, it’s easy to see how it can most definitely drive us to be, well, lazier.

And because kids see us and the behaviors we model, kids are getting lazier, too. Recently, my nephew told me that he was okay with breaking his leg again because that meant he could lay in bed all day and play Fortnite. I was pretty shocked to hear this, and it got me thinking about how lazy kids are becoming. I remember being told that our generation was lazy, but since we were pretty much the generation right before household computers became the norm, I would barter that compared to the generation now, we were pretty active.

If you fear your child could be getting to be a bit too lazy for their good, it may be a good time to step in and intervene.

1. Lead by example.

You can say everything you want them to do, but at the end of the day, kids follow their example. That may be an unpopular opinion, but if you want active kids that aren’t couch potatoes, you cannot be a couch potato.

2. Make them do age-appropriate chores.

Create a list of chores with your child’s limits and abilities in mind. For example, a 5-year-old can likely make their bed, but cannot mow the grass. So, make sure that what you are giving them to do is engaging and challenging, but not beyond their abilities.

3. Keep a routine that includes active time.

Keep a routine for your family that includes active time. For example, when they get home from school, it might be the perfect time to go to the park or go for a walk, or even go to the local swimming hole. Make this a priority, and you won’t have to worry about arguing with them to get active, because it will be a part of their daily life.

4. Make room for play.

Make sure that they have adequate room for real playtime. When I say real playtime, I don’t mean for their X-Box or their computer. I mean, make room for their toys and art supplies, so they can play.

5. Limit screen time.

You are the parent, it’s your job to make sure they don’t sit around on their tablet all day. I hear parents all the time say, “But if I take their tablet away, they freak out!” If that is the case, they will get over it. Sitting on devices all day comes at a cost, and that cost is their mental and physical health and their brain’s development. Is it worth it to steer clear of upsetting them at the expense of their life ahead? I doubt it.

6. Encourage them to try things.

If you notice your little boy looks like he is curious about soccer, sign him up. If you notice your little girl has taken a liking to music and ballet, sign her up. If you can’t do that, you could encourage them to learn more about those topics and buy a few cheap supplies at your local thrift store to get them engaged. The point is to encourage activity and learning over laziness.

7. Limit couch time.

Much like limiting screen time, limit their couch time. If you’ve walked through the house 5 times today and each time your child was on the couch being lazy, and they aren’t sick and don’t need to be resting all day, make them get up and do something else.

8. Push them to do physical activity (exercise) for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour per day.

Make exercise a part of daily life. It doesn’t have to be working out, but even going for a quick 30-minute walk each day or a bike ride is a great way to squeeze in activity and get some sunshine. Bonus points if you help them find an activity they love so much that they want to do daily.