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Play Like Your Children
by Lisa M. Hendey  
6/04/2007 / Family

Play Like Your Kids
By Lisa M. Hendey

On Friday evening, I took a baby step from "Fencing Mom" (aka: one who watches her son fence) to "Fencer".

At my son Adam's fencing center, the coach now offers a once per week beginning lesson for parents or other interested adults. I've been trying to get to the class for a few months now, but Friday was my first opportunity. I thought it would be fun, and a way to understand what Adam experiences in his sport of choice. Guess what: I loved it! Aside from being a tremendously good workout, it also was a great stress reliever. There's nothing like waving a sword around at someone to help melt away the week's tension. I'm telling you, I think I'm hooked. Granted, I won't be making my way to the podium at the Summer Olympics any time soon, but I do want to explore the sport and continue my lessons.

How many times do we stand on the sidelines at a sporting event, yelling at our children or silently gasping when they make a slip up? I know I've watched Adam fence in the past and wonder why he needs to take breaks so frequently for water. Now I know!! After ten minutes in all of that gear, practicing lunges and footwork, I was ready for a break - and Adam's lesson lasts two hours!

So all you soccer moms and baseball dads, I'm urging you to take to the fields this summer. If you can join in on helping with your kids' practice, then do it! If your little one's "sport" is playing at the playground - jump in! Slide down the twisty slide, play in the sandbox, or swing! Today, in our backyard, Adam gave me my own private fencing lesson. He was thrilled to be the "coach" and I was helped greatly by some of the pointers he gave me.

Rather than standing by chatting or dropping off and picking up, take advantage of your kids' playing or practice time to fit in your own workout. Help the coach or walk or jog laps nearby rather than sitting in the car reading a book. It's a great thing for our children to see us being physically active. God created us, in His image, with all we need to walk, run and play - let's "just do it!"

Lisa M. Hendey, wife and mother of two sons, is the webmaster of and the podcast host of Visit her at for more information.

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