Monday, April 05, 2010

Know More Do More

Know More, Do More.

I stumbled upon this site, via Twitter, and a blog that I read from time to time.

For a quick recap, Know More Do More was created from results of a survey by the CCPN that indicated that there is a gap between parents’ perceptions and the reality of their children’s weight, physical activity levels, and eating behaviours.

An example of this is:
Perception
Parents in the region generally think their children are active or very active.

Reality
87% of children in the region are not getting the recommended 90 minutes of physical activity a day.

This whole know more, do more challenge is really inspiring. Know More Do More is providing families with tips and tools to help change their perceptions, and change the reality of our children's health in this region.

Don't get me wrong, this is not every family's reality, some of our children are super healthy, but on the other end of the spectrum, childhood obesity is a concern in this country, so there are families out there that need the help and hopefully welcome a challenge like this.

This whole challenge got me thinking more about a topic I have been talking over with friends lately. The idea that there is so much pressure these days on parents to get out and do things with their kids, and I don't mean that in a bad way, but I find myself lately searching google and asking pro-parents about what I can be doing with my son to get out and get active with him.

As a new-ish Mom (someone please tell when I should stop referring to myself as a new Mom, because I don't know, but that's a whole other post), I want to give my son the chance to experience everything the world has to offer, but I also like to spend a weekend here or there doing nothing but catching up on household chores and some shows on the PVR. Those weekends are few and far between lately, and when they do happen they are not without guilt. E is a fairly easy going kid, he doesn't require much to entertain himself, but still, if 10 years down the road he hates anything that screams physical activity and only loves the TV, I will be so mad at myself.

I am just having trouble finding the happy medium between being on the go and having evenings and weekends filled with activities for E, versus downtime, all the time. I want E to grow up to be a well-rounded child, and I know this is my responsibility - but the pressure to find that balance is challenging to say the least.

I don't remember growing up in a household where my Mom and Dad were barking out 'this weekend we are going to go on a scavenger hunt, then to a picnic in the park, and then to Cosmic Adventures', etc. Yet, I felt like we did things, like go bike riding, and canoeing and cross-country skiing, and have lunch on our patio, and tea parties with friends, etc. But I don't think my Mom thought, 'Geez, I have to get out and do something with my kids or else I'm borderline under-serving them as a parent'.

I often see my neighbors carting their kids off early in the morning on weekends to get somewhere (that somewhere I presume is an activity), while E and I are happily eating our breakfast or playing 'roll the ball' back n' forth. I have no desire to get up and get moving on weekends, or else it would feel like a work week to me, yet part of me wishes I had something to take E too.

Maybe its just the age he's at now... or maybe its my sheer laziness. I hope its first one, rather than the latter, but I know its maybe a mix of both. This is why I think the Know More Do More challenge can be inspiring, not only to me, but to other parents in this situation who want more to do, but just don't know what that activity should be.

My favourite saying on the back of the Starbucks cup is The Way I See It #198:

"You can shower a child with presents or money, but what do they really mean, compared to the most valuable gift of all - your time? Vacations and special events are nice, but so often the best moments are the spontaneous ones. Being there. Every moment you spend with your child could be the one that really matters."

I think this saying really breaks down challenge I am having in getting out and doing more with my son, versus just spending quality time with him doing nothing overly exciting. Know More Do More breaks down this challenge too because it allows parents to use simple ideas such as a dance-off with your kids or a game of tag in the backyard, to help families build healthier lifestyles and in still healthier habits within their children as they grow older. And really - what could be better than that?

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