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As mom to a beautiful baby girl and a son – Sydney, 11 weeks old and Curtis Jr., almost 3 – I’m excited to share my love of sports and enjoy staying active with them. And while there are amazing female athletes my daughter can look to for inspiration and motivation, I never forget that as her mom, I’m an important role model. Here are some tips that have worked for me and other moms I know:
Be a good example. Let her see you sweat, exercise and make fitness a priority.
Keep it fun! This will keep kids active and engaged.
Mix it up. Do a wide variety of activities to keep them interested, from a trip to a local park, swimming pool or beach to taking lessons in the summer.
Use what’s in your own backyard. Set up an activities course in your yard or neighborhood where you can go up and down steps, jump rope, stop and do modified sit-ups and push-ups, skip or walk fast.
Start a new family tradition. Go for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, or try out a new sport every Saturday afternoon.
Buddy up. Have active play dates with other moms and their kids.
Praise and reward your kids’ efforts. Keep the focus on the fun and on the importance of being a good sport.
Women’s Sports Foundation also has some great tips for parents, and I’ve found that my friends who are moms are a wealth of new ideas. Looking back, I wish I’d been more involved with sports as a kid and now I’m excited to have an opportunity to set my children in motion while they are still young. Sports are great way for families to stay connected. In fact, the Foundation’s research also shows that children’s athletic participation can be linked to better communication, harmony and cohesiveness between parents and children.
Incorporating these into your family’s daily routine is a great way to get in the game in support of women’s sports – and to help kick off the 40th anniversary year of Title IX, which ensures equal access to both men and women in federally-funded educational programs and activities, including sports programs. Working together, we can help more girls get physically activity and learn the lifelong benefits of sports!