Talking to parents/carers about children’s physical activity
Whilst parents/carers may know that physical activity is a positive thing for their child, they are less likely to know how much physical activity children are recommended to do, and they may face challenges in keeping their children moving.
Busy parents/carers may fall into patterns of behaviour that prevent children from getting as much physical activity as they could, e.g., by putting the child in a pushchair to get somewhere more quickly, or putting them in front of the TV to give the parent/carer a break.
As outlined in the communicating with parents about weight module, listening to the parent/carer’s perspective is important to show empathy, and to give them autonomy in helping their child stay active. Before diving in with information or advice, check first what the parent/carer already knows, and ask them if there is anything in particular they would like to talk about. This will help you tailor the conversation to their needs.
Over to you
In the video below Paula is talking to the father of 4-year old Chloe (played by an actor) about his physical activity.
Watch the video and try to identify:
- Three positive communication strategies the practitioner uses
- Three areas for improvement where the physical activity guidelines for 4-year olds could have been made clearer to the parent
Click the tabs to read some possible answers.
Positive communication strategies
Areas for improvement
Below is a short quiz to help you evaluate your learning from this module. You may take the quiz as many times as you like.
Physical activity and sedentary behaviour
Start the quiz
1. How long and at what intensity should a 2-year old child spend being physically active per day?
a) 30 minutes moderate intensity
b) 60 minutes moderate-to-vigorous
c) 180 minutes moderate intensity
d) 180 minutes any intensity
2. Which of these is a benefit of being physically active?
a) Improved sleep
b) Improved strength and muscular fitness
c) Improved social skills and self-esteem
d) All of the above
3. For pre-school children, what intensity of physical activity are getting dressed and playing board games considered to be?
a) Light activity
b) Moderate activity
c) Energetic activity
d) Sedentary behaviour
4. Which of these sedentary activities are parents not encouraged to limit in children?
b) Watching TV
d) All of the above
5. Which of these are helpful parental behaviours for encouraging children to be physically active?
a) Showing fear about children falling
b) Using the pushchair whenever they can
c) Allowing their child to do things for themselves
d) Watching TV together as a family
6. Which young children is physical activity most important for?
a) All young children
b) Children aged 3 and over
c) Children with disabilities
d) Children whose parents are living with obesity
Thanks for taking part!