Get the kids ceilidhing and obesity would disappear

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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If Carlsberg made parties, then they would have made them just like the 50th that I dragged my family to last weekend.

We were all invited, but it’s a struggle when you have teenage children who really, really don’t want to go.

These situations are quite hard, aren’t they?

Faced with opposition along the lines of ‘we don’t know him/her’, ‘it’s Saturday night’, ‘we’re fine on our own’ and ‘you’ll have a better time without us’, it can be quite hard to break down the barriers.

Especially when all you’ve got to respond with is ‘you’re coming and that’s final’.

Luckily I hit upon the idea of using food as a lure.

There would be some and, as there was none in our house, they’d better come along if they wanted to eat. It worked well.

The party, in a village hall (another teenage horror – imagine the lack of street cred), was an eclectic mix of ceilidh and balloon stomping.

Who knew that tying a balloon around your left ankle and then trying to pop other people’s in a mad mosh pit freestyle could be so much fun?

And that’s before the alcohol, amazing sweets with grapes in the middle and general knowledge/music quizzes.

But the best bit was seeing the teenagers face up to the fact they had to get involved or be stuck in the depths of rural West Sussex without a ride home.

Now there’s a motivator for you.

Reluctantly led to the dance floor, it turned out that a bit of physical contact, strict instructions on directions to turn and a thumping beat are the prime ways to tame embarrassment.

Dancing is actually an amazing activity for keeping the heart rate up, the concentration going and the face grinning.

That’s surely the cure for obesity in children – get them ceilidhing for 20 minutes a morning and the world would be a thinner place.

Although my son and his friend referred to it as the best, the first and probably the only grab-a-granny night they’ll ever go to (how cheeky – I was one of the oldest there), they didn’t stop smiling – or indeed sweating – from start to finish.