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6yr son says he is the slowest runner in the class...anxiety

(19 Posts)
Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 18:39:35

...he cares a lot about this. And it, and some friendship issues, have led to some weird grunting tic. He is a slow runner, for sure. He is short and isn't fast. He is very sporty in other ways - cycling, swimming, ball sports. But not running. He's also top of class in reading...

But it matters in the playground. How can I help him?

Patriciathestripper1 Wed 16-Nov-16 18:44:21

Had similar problem with my now 9 year old.
I just sat her down and pointed out the positives like she is a talented rider and regularly competes in jumping competitions. Told her she can't be good at everything and also made it a bit lighthearted by saying "if no one came last there could be no first" and therefore no competition...

GertrudeBelle Wed 16-Nov-16 18:46:03

Try doing the couch to 5k app with him. You start running together for periods of 60 seconds with break in between then slowly increase the amount of running.

I do it with my DS (6) who started off slow and out of breath but got fast very quickly! I ended up stopping the formal programme because I thought it was too much at his age (for joints etc) but he was easily doing quick 15 mins and barely out of breath. And he loved it.

It improved his stamina and general fitness, but also speed as we'd do little sprints together at the end.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 16-Nov-16 18:51:33

The sort of thing patricia suggests. Someone has to be the slowest, and he's good at other things.

VanillaSugarCandyCanes Wed 16-Nov-16 18:53:13

Ok. This isn't going to help now..... but in the long run (sorry) no one is going to give your DS a normal job based on how fast he runs.

Let's put the Police, Army, Olympian out of the equation for this, shall we?

Your DS must never think that he is a loser because he doesn't run fast. He has other qualities.

Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 19:10:32

Listen, I couldn't give a toss how fast he runs. I say to him, 'who cares?' and he says, 'I do!' which pretty much sums it up.

I am only helping him because I don't want him to feel shit. Not because I want him to be a faster runner.

I'll see if he wants to do a running thing. If he does, I'll do it with him. But part of the problem of doing that, suggests that it matters?

thegirlinthecar Wed 16-Nov-16 19:14:14

I think what gertrude did sounds great . It doesn't suggest it matters in life but it does show that if it matters to him then you're there supporting him if he wants to get better.

GertrudeBelle Wed 16-Nov-16 19:20:15

I simply said to DS that I wanted to get fitter and would he come with me to keep me company. I then rewarded him after the first few sessions with a bit of Pokémon Go which he loves. I didn't need to do that once he had got into the swing of it.

But I think it should be okay to say "I know you wouldn't like to be a bit quicker. That really doesn't matter to me at all, I love you as you are and I think you are wonderful. But if you want to practice running we can try it together?"

Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 19:46:15

That's a good way to put it, Getrude. I do a lot of exercise, so he knows it matters to me. But I'm slow, so I need to sell it to him as a joint thing, and see if he's keen.

Gawd, this school lark's fun, isn't it?

lljkk Wed 16-Nov-16 19:50:10

Being good at sport is fiercely competitive for small boys, ime. The Alpha males will be the best athletes. If he's good at ball sports he's got a lot of compensation. What is he like at It ? I bet he's not really the slowest.

Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 20:07:01

I genuinely know he is slow. He's really short, he has short legs. You don't notice it when he's standing still, because he has the biggest gob and is completely able to hold his own. But no one cares about that when you're running; and only he cares that he's miles behind.

I am not interested, and have never been interested, in Alpha males. Yawn. But not being one does make the road at school stonier, that's for sure.

Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 20:09:08

The thing is, he's a brilliant cyclist and has been since he was 2. He plays tennis every week, and again is really good. He's great with ball sports. He's actually pretty good with footie. but he can't run. A lot of playground sports rely on it.

Lupinlady5 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:12:43

I really feel for him. I was one of the slowest runners at school, and unfortunately it does make you very conspicuous. I actually wish someone had at least tried to help me improve, tbh.

Wolfiefan Wed 16-Nov-16 20:12:44

Can he suggest other sports in the playground?
My eldest is NOT good at running. At all. He has a black belt now!

TheSpottedZebra Wed 16-Nov-16 20:14:33

Could you look at a football or a rugby match, and point out the people with skills other than running? The stocky ones, the goalie, etc etc. Rooney not the fastest, but still a great player...

Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 20:22:28

That's great Wolfiefan! My son is doing Samurai stuff, too.

That's a good idea, TheSpottedZebra.

Lupinlady5 - it does make you conspicuous. It plays a part in lots of things. It makes him feel self-conscious, which I think is new to him.

Lupinlady5 Wed 16-Nov-16 20:28:42

I'm still a very slow runner, with little stamina. I have quite loose joints, which doesn't help. But maybe you could focus on stamina rather than speed? That way he might be good at e.g. cross country in future, even if he's never a sprinter. I was just rubbish at all running, which made it worse.
I was a good reader/writer as well, but would rather have been good at sport during the school years!!

Towardslight Wed 16-Nov-16 20:45:57

Lupinlady - I know, I'm sure he'll prefer to be a runner.

Actually, I have hypermobility and when he was a toddler, a health visitor checked his hands and said he had it in his hands. My nephews and nieces have it, or some of them. Perhaps this is holding him back too? But then, even more reason to get strong.

Lupinlady5 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:01:45

Yes, I am probably hypermobile. There is a theory that this makes running difficult, for some reason. Useful for yoga though grinenvy

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