Do you dream of the day your kids will fall in love with running and join you on the road or track? Here are some tips for nurturing the running spirit.

  • Make sure your kids know that it’s not all about winning. They have to know that you love them equally, fast or slow, first place or last.
  • Respect when they’d prefer to run with you vs. running by themselves or with friends. Kids often enjoy independence.
  • Be realistic about their abilities. Don’t hold them back, but don’t add the unfair expectations that they’re going to be world champions.
  • Help them set realistic goals, to keep the disappointments to a minimum.
  • Emphasize enjoyment over performance.
  • Emphasize improvement over winning.
  • Don’t use your kids to relive your own glory days.
  • Provide a safe environment for their running, physically and emotionally.
  • If your kids compete, control yourself. Be a cheerleader, but don’t yell at them, at their competitors, or at their coaches. Ever.
  • If your kids have a coach, foster a respectful, communicative relationship with the coach. Be an ally.
  • Be a positive role model. Demonstrate the attitudes toward running that you’d like your kids to embrace.
  • If after everything, your kids just don’t like running, figure out what they prefer and support it equally. The rules are the same for supporting them during bagpipe practice!