Last month when I attended Mom 2.0, I met with the really amazing team from Marathon Kids. I had read about them before the conference, and then joined them for Run 2.0 on Friday morning (which was quite an accomplishment being that we met at a crazy hour – before 7a.m.) They just launched their Walk and Talk challenge, (this month!) and I’m so, so excited to have started this with my own son.
A little about Marathon Kids: They are an organization that helps kids unlock their potential through a Marathon Kids running club in their home, school or even an outside organization or camp. Marathon Kids work towards completing a marathon at their own pace. Adults play the role of coach. Marathon Kids was founded in 1995 and today it is one of the only evidence-based running/walking programs for children in this country.
If you’re a parent or have been around younger kids, you know there comes a point where they stop sharing as much of their daily lives. At least that’s what my son has done. I’ve seen the changes and he’s just completing Kindergarten. He still talks some, but he wants to talk after bedtime as a stall tactic, or he doesn’t want to share at all. When I ask how his day was, I get the standard “ok.” I want more. I want to be sure we’re connecting daily and not just on very rare occasions. I want him to know he can always open up to his parents.
Kids tend to talk and open up more when they’re active. I think this also pertains to adults. I mean, I share everything with my running friends! But kids especially share more when they’re moving. So why not get them out on a walk, and present questions to discuss on your walk?
That’s what the Walk and Talk challenge does.
If you sign up for Walk and Talk, you’re committing to walking a mile and talking. Marathon Kids provides a downloadable chart to track your mileage (all the way up to 26!) They also provide a list of talking points for each mile. The first mile focused on friendship. (And since I know some people local to me read this, I’ll spare you some of the details from our conversation. Just know that I’ve since discovered who my son doesn’t think of as a friend anymore!)
My son likes charts and goals, which makes this a really compatible program for him. Also? This challenge is free. You just have to sign up, and the chart and talking points are emailed to you. We can track his progress either by coloring in the mile, or using a sticker. By the end of the 26 miles, I will plan for us to do something fun to celebrate…and I fully intend on starting all over again.
In addition to this challenge, we’re also doing the family marathon program. But I’m saving that for another day. 😉
How have you connected with your child recently?