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Table 3 Themes of maternal perceptions of physical activity in their children and supporting quotes

From: “You’ve got to settle down!”: Mothers’ perceptions of physical activity in their young children

Theme (n, %) Supporting quotes
Theme 1: Mothers believe that their children are active (244, 87.8 %) “I think on a scale from 1 to 10, it’s like a 10. It’s very extreme. She’s very active. Now I’m trying to find a sport for her to get into, something to put her into because she’s very, very -- from the time she wakes up to the time she goes to bed -- very, very active. It’s like she never sits down.”
“He really is active. He’s got a lot of energy but I don’t see him as being any different than any other 4- year- old.”
“Very hyper. Very, very hyper. I mean he makes up for all the food that he eats with all the energy that he’s got.”
“Sometimes, he’s wild, he tears around here and … it’s like a zoo and I told him ‘You’ve got to settle down!’”
Theme 2: Many mothers believe that their children’s high activity level is problematic (75, 27.0 %) “Sometimes I will take them someplace where I know they will be running around a lot in order to kind of wear her out a little bit. Like, usually that happens like on a day when she doesn’t have school for whatever reason. So if we’re, or it’s like this outside [motions to snow out the window] it’s all gray and you can’t really do anything.”
“I try to talk to him. I do talk to him. I need to tell him -- and I do tell him that he needs to calm down, sit down -- ‘let’s play like we’re inside not like we’re outside,’ -- but it doesn’t help. It’ll help for a second -- he’s right back at it.”
“I just feel like he’s very energetic and, maybe he needs you know, me to go see a doctor and see if everything’s okay with that because he’s very, very hyper.”