How to encourage a healthy running habit
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!