Take A Kid For A Run – Even If You Need To Trick Them To Go

family-run

There isn’t much I enjoy more than seeing a family doing something together. In my family we have some very different personalities and some very different interest. I have one daughter that is generally more interested in hanging out inside and not getting dirty and another daughter that has always begged to be able to go outside and do something fun. The funny part about that is that if I say lets go for a run the inside girl will jump and get her shoes on and the outside girl will all of a sudden have a stomach ache.

We are all different people with different likes and dislikes. The fact of the matter is though that as a nation we need to move more and sit less. We need to be outside running or walking. We need to be going to the park with our kids and watching them run from the slide to the swingset and back 50 times. So for the inside kids that aren’t into running (mine is a weird combo of an inside kid that likes to run outside) we need to find ways to encourage them to be active.

When I have parents ask me about how to get their kids to come to youth group I have one quick and easy solution. Have them invite a friend. The same works to convince your kids to run with you. Have them invite a friend and they are way more likely to go. Now you are having a positive influence on the lives of two kids instead of just one. When we are doing something new or something that makes us uncomfortable we need some incentive to push on. That can be the motivation of getting healthy if you are mature enough, but most kids aren’t going to see it that clearly.  So inviting a friend is an easy way to get them to agree.

Another option is the motivation of competition. If their friend comes along they won’t want to be the weak one. That alone can pull a kid along for a long time. After a while running with the friend though they will hopefully be talking and laughing and having fun. Next thing you know they aren’t stressing about the fact they are running and will want to keep going.

You can also turn the run into little games with the kid. Maybe you see who can kick a rock with you the most times before losing it. Or you see who can make the most steps in 20 seconds. Find little distractions along the way to keep them focused on something more than complaining about running. If the fixation on running goes away it is a lot easier to enjoy the act of running. The relationships that can be built or strengthened with the kids in your life while running or walking are well worth any effort you must put into making it happen. Not to mention the health benefits to everyone involved.

So trick them if you must, but grab your kids and get outside. The weather has been perfect.