The New Normal
This is part of a series of posts under the Quaker Challenge. It’s about the quest that my kids and I have to achieve our Quaker Goal to swim, bike, and run more. Read about it HERE.
When we started our Quaker Challenge in August, I was completely uncertain over how far I could take the kids with it. Sure, they were willing, even excited, to swim, bike, and run once in a while, but I didn’t know if they were ready to commit to regular training sessions for sports.
In the past, one or both of them had signed up for soccer, baseball, tennis, swimming, ice skating and more, and almost all the time they would quit in less than a month. I could’ve put up a TBR Sports Store with all our barely used equipment at home.
But, the past weeks, things have definitely changed. I fetch both kids from school on Tuesdays and Fridays and they know that they take swimming sessions after. Most of the time, I swim along with them.
– Before one of our swim sessions –
On Sundays, Anton looks forward to triathlon training sessions with Coach Norman and all the other tri kids that he’s made friends with. Last Saturday, Anton joined the BGC Cycle for kids too. (Separate post on that in a bit!) It’s almost normal for them to engage in some form of activity at least twice a week now. It’s a world of difference from the way they spent their time after school or on weekends. I’m not even sure if these are the same kids who used to have their eyes glued to Minecraft and Club Penguin all the time!
So, what helped to make my kids more active and healthier? This is what we did:
1) WE SET A CLEAR GOAL. Thanks to the Quaker Challenge I set a clear goal for the kids to swim, bike, and run more. It became even more measurable for Anton when we signed him up for Ironkids. Sit your kids down and agree on a target together. Discuss ways on how you will achieve it as a team. Gently remind them about this during the week since they tend to get distracted with school work and friends.
2) WE MADE NO EXCUSES. There were times, especially during exam week, when Anton would say that he had too much homework and he couldn’t train. I took it as an opportunity to teach him about proper time management. Together, we agreed on how much time he would spend on training and studying. Both had to be given their fair share of time and focus.
3) I LISTENED AND EXPLAINED. Not all days are good days. So, on days when the kids would complain, I would listen to them, yet I would explain. When Nia said she was having difficulty, I told her that all sports are hard in the start. One doesn’t learn the perfect swim stroke or running technique overnight. When she said it was a bit boring. I told her only after a few “slow” technical sessions can she join other kids and engage in the fun drills and races against each other.
4) WE CHOSE BETTER FOOD. With more activities, I needed to make sure that both kids were eating nutritiously. I have them eat a heavier breakfast to keep them fueled for the day, such as oatmeal and fruits. I give them fruit/veggie juice everyday.
5) WE HAVE FUN. My greatest fear is to have the kids engage in sports hating every single minute. I make sure that they’re having fun while they’re swimming, biking, or running. Thankfully, each and every time I’ve asked them: “Did you have fun?” They both answer “Yes!” even if it’s immediately followed by “Can we pass by McDo?” I know, I know. We still have to get rid of fastfood. That’s an entirely new goal altogether.