Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Parenthood: Pushing vs Encouraging

Last Sunday, after returning from church, I asked my oldest daughter (10) if she wanted to go run an easy mile with me. I've been wanting to get her out to try it so she can learn how to pace herself (like most young kids, sprinting is the only running she does). She is built like a distance runner - tall, lean with long, strong legs.

At first, she was open to the idea, but the more she thought about it, the more moody she got (and started copping an attitude). She then decided she did NOT want to do it. "I can't run that'll get mad at'll push me...", etc. I'm mindful of the fine line between pushing and encouraging and wouldn't have pushed at all. I wasn't happy with her decision (and, more so, her attitude), but I backed off. The thing is, I know that PHYSICALLY, she could do it, and do it well. Psychologically, I guess she's not ready for it. As an avid runner, I want her to get interested in distance running at a young age. But I know that if I push it on her, she'll get turned off and want nothing to do with it. I just need to find creative and encouraging ways to hopefully get her interested. Who youngest daughter may be the one who gets interested. It would be great if both do! I just need to take the right steps & not push.


  1. I trick my 7 year old into longer distances. Then I'll tell her she just ran 3 miles and she's so proud of herself. The 3 kids started out with 1/2 mile with walk breaks and increased from there.

  2. Good way to go about it. Natalie would probably know if I was tricking her, but maybe we should start with a half mile instead of a mile. She puts a lot of pressure on herself. She's got the "Hayes Competitive Genes"...which can be both good AND bad!