Anonymous asks:

My children don't participate in any sports outside of school. They do the bare minimum in PE and that's it. As someone who enjoys sport, and have since I was young, I find this very worrying. They both prefer to stay indoors and read, build things like Lego, or play board games. Shouldn't children be out and about? They don't have weight issues, but I do still find it odd that they don't want to play sports with other children. Should I be concerned?

Noel McDermott says: “You say outside of school so I’m going to assume they are active inside school. There are a few things to think about:

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

1. Are they active and healthy in general. So including school sports are they getting exercise? If yes- that’s okay. If no then you need to think about that. 

2. Do they socialise well with their peers when they are with them? Does the school report they have friends there and they are sociable? If yes then nothing to be concerned about, if not maybe there is a problem. 

3. Do they have friends outside of school whom they socialise with playing online games for example? If yes, then again nothing to worry about, if no there might be an issue. 

4. Do your kids have health problems from lack of exercise? Again if no- don’t worry. 

It may be that they don’t have enough interest in the school sports based activities to pursue them as hobbies. In which case could you introduce them to other activities? Maybe look at scuba diving or indoor climbing, or skiing, cycling, mountain climbing, ice climbing etc? Is there a Go Ape by you that they would like to go to? Try other activities like yoga, dancing, fencing and so on. 

The key thing is to ask yourself .. are my kids happy, are they social, are they healthy? If yes- then they are fine. You can continue to worry if that makes you feel better, but try not to act out on the anxiety too much.”

Noel McDermott is a Psychotherapist and International Speaker with over 25 years’ experience in health, social care and education. He is the founder and CEO of three organisations, Psychotherapy and Consultancy Ltd, Sober Help Ltd and Mental Health Works Ltd. which provide health and social care services to individuals, families and organisations dealing with mental health and addiction problems.

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