If your pediatric orthopedics doctor has prescribed physical therapy (PT) for your child, it’s important to follow through with their recommendations. The challenge is that not all kids enjoy regular exercise, even if they’re normally active.
Physical therapy can sometimes be boring or even uncomfortable, so it may difficult to motivate your child to stick to their PT plan. There are tactics you can use to motivate your child and make PT fun.
Lead by Example
Regular exercise is important for all people, young and old. Although the PT prescribed by your child’s pediatric orthopedics team is to treat or correct a specific condition, you can make yourself a positive role model by regularly exercising yourself.
Make It a Routine
When you set a specific schedule and stick to it, your child will eventually settle into the rhythm of physical therapy sessions and will be less likely to complain when it’s time to go.
Physical Therapy Should Be Fun
Most children enjoy being active and having new experiences. While your pediatric orthopedics team may prescribe PT to treat a serious condition, the work itself can be a fun and positive experience.
When doing PT, particularly at home, try to make the exercise into a game or contest. Challenge your child to score points or reach their daily goals in exchange for recognition at home. A star on the refrigerator or other reward can go a long way to help your child enjoy their PT.
Alongside this, also remember to let your child know when they are doing well. Encourage them during PT, and praise them at the end for a job well done. Remind your child that they have your full support.