Mothers’ Influence on Active Lives

We need to see more of this!

In light of Mother’s Day 2010 I have a few thoughts about mothers’ influence on the active lives of their daughters. First of all, I have the BEST mother in the world and I would not be the woman I am today without her. I love you mom!

Here are some research-based facts about moms. daughters, and physical activity (PA):

  • If mom values and supports physical activity, daughters are more likely to be active. More importantly if a daughter perceives mom values and supports PA ( even if she doesn’t!) this is predictive of increased PA
  • If daughter also perceives mom believes that she is good at sport, she is more likely to participate in sport and not drop out
  • If mom is active, daughter is more likely to be active in her youth, adolescence and into adulthood
  • PA is a positive, enjoyable, and healthy thing mothers and daughters can do together
  • Moms are needed in a variety of active, visible role models in PA contexts, especially in positions of power such as coach, youth sport league administrator, club president, athletic director, and referee. When we SEE women in positions of power it helps challenge outdated gender stereotypes about leadership. Less than ~15% of all positions of power in youth sport are held by women. We can do better!
  • Mother skills are transferable to coaching!! And mothers who coach say that their role as coach enhances their roles as mother and worker (for those women who work outside the home)
  • Moms should encourage their daughters to volunteer as coaches, referees, and to find a way to give back to the physical activities they love
  • Moms need to encourage both their sons and daughters equally to participate in sports
  • Most importantly, moms should unconditionally care about their children regardless of the score.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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