BABY'S GREAT ADVENTURE
GROW YOUR MAGNIFICENT CHILD
BABY’S GREAT ADVENTURE. Baby’s ability to move and mobility development.
Your child’s OMSDEP: Her mobility development intentions:
To run quickly and feel the air as she pushes through it, to feel the power of her accelerating body, to quickly and successfully place one foot ahead of the other. To run far and wide across the land.
Magnificent running development:
The natural development of running occurs in a very similar way to the natural development of crawling, creeping, cruising and walking. In each case your child begins by doing a little crawling, or a little creeping, cruising, walking or running several times each day. During the following days, weeks and months your child then crawls, creeps, cruises, walks or runs a little further each day until she is soon covering large distances each day. As it is with crawling, creeping, cruising or walking so it is with running. Walking and running though, have a special place in the natural human mobility hierarchy. Walking is the main form of human mobility; and crawling, creeping and cruising are less efficient means of mobility that were used by baby before she could walk. Crawling, creeping and cruising skills are usually required only rarely once a person becomes a walker. Now that she can walk your child, like all other humans, will use walking as her main means of getting from one place to another (if she is not using a convenience such as a car, of course). Running is a quick form of walking but it usually requires more energy, deeper breathing, more concentration on obstacles, may require looser clothing, can be more tiring and can cause more sweating than walking.
Because of the greater requirements of running people usually walk together rather than run together and running is usually used infrequently. There is even social pressure against running, even though people who run frequently can expect to have a considerably higher level of fitness, clarity of mind and good health than they would otherwise have. It is natural for humans, (which of course includes children and adults) to run frequently. It is unnatural to avoid running and to sustain a low level of fitness as a consequence. It is important, therefore, for parents to try to overcome social limitations and their own fitness limitations to help their child to be a keen runner.
Even though your child wants to be a keen runner her Level 6 OMSDEP is often curtailed or limited by general social and family environmental restrictions that state that at most times she is not allowed to run. Those restrictions can undermine and even cause her to reject running as an enjoyable pastime.
Running is sometimes restricted for good reasons, for example, lack of long rooms in homes, dangerous traffic in streets, the possibility of getting lost in crowds, the possibility of interfering with other peoples activities, weather conditions including rain, snow and hot sun and the possibility that breakage or personal injuries might occur. Regrettably, many adults treat running and other physical excise disdainfully and most children, teenagers and adults are not to be seen running long distances in the streets or elsewhere. In general therefore, adults, teenagers and other young children are not good running role models for young children. Unfortunately, they are in fact often the reverse. Consequently the natural development of running does not occur for many children, and running ability is therefore underdeveloped in many children and adults. In fact, in most children and adults the ability to run is very underdeveloped. To the contrary in Kenya the Kalenjin people accept running and produce many Olympic champions.
When your child begins natural running she runs short distances several times each day and gradually, day by day, she increases the distance she runs each time she runs. The magnificentchildren.love running activities that follow are based on the way children’s running develops in natural environments. The activities take account of the need for short running sessions in the beginning, for regular running sessions each day or two, for changes of terrain in natural environments, and for longer running sessions as your child’s ability to run develops further.
Parents are an essential part of their child’s running activities as it is usually unsafe to send a young child running by herself, and she is unlikely to choose to run long distances without another person to share the fun; as do the Kalenjin.
Parents attitudes and enthusiasm (or lack of it) towards running can and probably will affect their child’s own attitude and enthusiasm towards running.
When parents have a positive attitude towards reading, exercise, fishing, art, maths or any other subject then their young child will almost certainly adopt the same attitude towards that subject. Equally, if a parent has a negative attitude towards any subject then their young child will almost certainly adopt a similar negative attitude. Parental attitudes towards running vary widely but all parents should take care to maintain and foster children’s positive attitudes towards daily running. One positive point about running that may help enthuse some reluctant parents is that running with a child helps parents to keep fit. Although some parents will be unable to keep up the pace with their children due to their own physical or psychological inability, or other restrictions, and therefore the Level 6 running activities program will not be suitable for those adults. There are very few children for whom running will not be suitable.
If a parent or child is unable to continue with the running activities it is advisable that they do less of it and do not discontinue it entirely. Then at least some of the very significant benefits of running can accrue for your child. If you are unable to do the entire running activities program then it is important not to despair but to realise that you are still doing the best that you can for your child’s development. Any parent who has come this far with magnificentchidren.love activities has done a great deal for his child; and his child should benefit enormously as a result. Aside from the possible exception of some running and brachiation activities, most parents should be able to continue with and complete all the other magnificentchidren.love activities if they wish to.
Running is a Culmination of Your Child’s Development:
Your child is now approaching a milestone in her human development. She began life with a level of development far below her current level. Running is a culmination of many aspects of her development since birth. To run well requires good tactile, visual and balance sense, lung capacity, breath control, muscular and bone development, understanding and control of one’s limb movements, environmental intelligence and a body that is functioning well due to an adequate diet. During the next year or two, as she runs, your child will be improving on those abilities to improve her running ability, and she will be learning how to make those abilities work well together to optimise her running ability. Running is an activity that can only be done well when the foundations required for running are well developed. But, fortunately for younger humans, running itself continues to develop the foundations required to run well. Running significantly improves the senses of sight, touch and balance, improves the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessel functioning), increases lung capacity and therefore improves the singing voice, verbal skills, endurance and swimming ability, develops the physical and mental ability to respond quickly when required and has other benefits including improving the body’s ability to resist disease.
Running provides every child with an excellent foundation for a lifetime of mental and physical health.
A Gradual Start is Naturally Best:
When your child begins natural running she runs short distances several times each day and gradually, day by day, she increases the distance she runs each time she runs. For that reason parents gradually increase their child’s running from just a few meters running at a gradual pace to longer distances and faster times so that she does not become exhausted and begin to dislike running. It is very important to be relaxed and comfortable about your child learning to be an excellent runner, as the basic running activities program will probably take two or more years. Nevertheless, it is also important to be determined to run every day or two; even though you might sometimes miss a few days due to unforeseen circumstances. Remain patient and try not to do too much too soon. Slowly, but surely, build up the distance your child runs; and have fun doing it. Be innovative and invent some enjoyable running games if your child’s enthusiasm wanes occasionally over the years, as is possible. Running games could include; finding and touching ten trees, running with a kite or balloon, or counting people, dogs, cats or other animals.
Running with your child may become a regular daily event for many years and hopefully she will continue to run each day for her whole life. Daily running is probably the best, easiest and cheapest general fitness program available. People who run daily usually function well and think more clearly and quickly under stressful conditions. Some research indicates that the brain cortex (which is responsible for higher levels of intelligence) is better organised and functions more effectively in people who run several kilometres each day.
One of the greatest limitations for runners, including young children, is their ability to take in sufficient breath; they need bigger and more efficient lungs. But the more your child runs, and breathes deeply as a result, the more her lungs should develop. Building up the lungs, balance, muscular, tactile, visual and other running skills takes time and is a day by day gradual process.
If you feel somewhat overwhelmed by the idea of daily running for one, two or more years you might find it easier to begin running with your child for a few days and then to continue to do your best for as long as you can. You might continue for one week, one month, three months or a year or more. And you might stop for a day or two, or a week or two, and then start running again. It is better to do some running than none at all. After all, if you choose not to do running at all then your child will not benefit. But, if you do some running that will help her more than if you choose to do none.
The following running activities program should take about 3.5 years to complete if you and your child run each day. By that time she will be about 5.5 years old if she commenced at age 2 years and she should be running 4 kilometres each day. If she only runs each two days then you may wish to add more than the suggested extra distance to each run if your child is happy to do so.
Even if you and your child run each day you may find that your child responds well to adding say 4 meters to the running distance each day instead of the usually suggested 2 meters. If this is the case then it will take less time for your child to become a 4 kilometres runner than would otherwise have been the case. If your child can happily add more distance than the usually suggested 2 meters this is likely to be after she has been running for about 6 to 12 months, because she will then have established herself as a confident runner and adding more distance is then likely to be easier for her. If your child has a splendid mobility environment and takes to running as some children do then she may be running 4 kilometres daily at age 4 years.
Running should be joyful and relatively easy:
Some people imagine that it is painful for children to run for four or more kilometres each day or two and, more often than not, those people are making incorrect assumptions about how a child develops the ability to do so. As mentioned previously the reasonable and enjoyable way to do so is to gradually build up the running distance over a period of years.
When a child runs three, four or five kilometres it is relatively easy for her to do if she is only running about one or two meters further than she ran the previous day.
Three, four or five kilometres is a long way for an unfit person to run when they usually only run between 0 and 5 meters each day. But, running 4 kilometres is relatively easy for a child (or adult) who ran 3,998 metres in the previous day or two.
Parents and children who do not usually run should never attempt to run 4 kilometres when they begin running. Parents and children who run each day or two and have gradually built up to 3,998 metres using the magnificentchidren.love methods should be able to run 4 kilometres (an extra 2 meters) without difficulty. At this Level the first step to running four or more kilometres each day begins when your child commences running one, two, five or ten meters each day or two. For most parents and children running one, two, five or ten meters each day or two is an easy beginning. And it should also be relatively easy for your child to take the step from 100 meters to 102 meters, and from 570 meters to 572 meters, and from 3,998 metres to 4 kilometres.
Activities for parents and children:
The running environment.
Following are a number of general suggestions that can help to make running more successful.
The running surface: Grassed park, hard packed dirt track or other suitable surface is recommended. Concrete and bitumen are not usually suitable, they are too solid and do not have some ‘give’ as do the recommended surfaces.
Ensure your child is not hungry, thirsty or tired before running. If she is any of these things solve the problem or don’t run. Overeating or drinking before a run is not advisable either, as that increases stress on the body and can drain energy.
When you run avoid holding hands with your child, as you then become part of her balance system and you might also begin to pull her along.
Don’t try to force a child to run by cajoling or other negative means. Encourage her positively by showing your own enjoyment. Postpone her running until another day if she refuses to run, but still do your own running as a positive example (with your child watching if possible).
Help your child to maintain a steady running pace; rather than her running faster or slower than the ideal speed. Enthusiastic children are likely to enthusiastically run at their top speed for a short distance until they are exhausted. Estimate the ideal running pace for your child and lead her at that pace. Initially it is usually best if the parent leads the child to maintain pace but, after a routine is established, the child can participate in leading. The ideal running pace for a child is a steady jog.
Invent games that make running more enjoyable.
Remain positively enthusiastic about running and express your enthusiasm frequently.
Frequently, every day on every run, congratulate your child for the excellent running she is doing. Even if her running seems minute compared to what you can do, her running is probably of a very high standard compared to what it was only six to 12 months ago.
Begin by having a few short runs with your child when she indicates she would like a little run. These might be down the hallway at home or for five or ten meters when walking in a park. Encourage her to have three or four short runs with you each day for a week. Then:
Choose a flat or slightly downhill area about seven to 10 meters long (ideally at or close to your home) to use as a running track. Mark start and finish lines and explain these to your child. On one occasion each day or two run the length of the track with your child 3 to 7 times. It should take about 5 to 12 minutes to do that allowing for breaks of up to a minute or two between runs. Build up to 20 or more runs on each occasion as you gradually extend the time at the running track to about 30 minutes (allowing for breaks of up to a minute or two between runs). Have rests and fun between runs. Then:
Each day or two add one or two meters to the running track. Continue to lengthen the track each day or two until it is about 20 meters long. (Remember to never exhaust your child). Then:
Discontinue step 3 and go on to step 5 while your child is still enjoying running on the track, so she will begin step 5 with a positive attitude towards running.
When doing 20 minute daily walks (which you began in the previous Level) on a smooth, flat terrain now begin encouraging your child to do many brief runs or jogs with walks between. Plan to do about twenty brief jogs or runs, for about seven meters each, as part of your 20 minute walking time on a smooth, flat terrain. Always walk for a few minutes and don’t run at the beginning and end of the twenty minute walk as warm-up and warm-down time before and after you run. Then:
Over a 27 week period walk every day or two and gradually increase the distance your child runs or jogs each time she goes for her twenty minute walk on a smooth, flat terrain as follows:
For weeks 1 to 3: 20 jogs of 7 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 3 to 6: 15 jogs of 10 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 6 to 9: 12 jogs of 15 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 9 to 12: 10 jogs of 20 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 12 to 15: 8 jogs of 25 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 15 to 18: 6 jogs of 30 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 18 to 21: 4 jogs of 40 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 21 to 24: 3 jogs of 65 meters each, with walks between jogs.
For weeks 24 to 27: 2 jogs of 100 meters each, walking between jogs.
You may have noticed that the distance your child runs over the 27 weeks is approximately 150 to 200 meters on each occasion; but initially in 20 jogs of 7 meters each and finally in 2 jogs of 100 meters each. This arrangement maintains approximately the same distance being run each day or two but increases her natural ability to run further non-stop. As a result her lungs should now be developing well as she breathes deeply and she should be happily running naturally when she wants to get from one place to another quickly.
In week 27 above, when your child is able to run 100 meters non-stop, then begin the following:
Planning the Next Twelve Months or Longer:
The next running goal is for your child to run 4 kilometres non-stop. It will likely take over twelve months for that to happen. Building up to 4 kilometres is a gradual process that parents plan day by day by observing and listening to their child. The following general guidelines can be used to gradually increase your child’s natural running distance to 4 kilometres. From 4 kilometres on parents can develop their own running activities program by gradually increasing the running distance.
Change your child’s daily 20 minute walk on a smooth and level surface into a 1.5 kilometres walk on a smooth and level surface every day or two (every two days being the minimum). Continue, for now, to do 2 runs of 100 meters each during the 1.5 kilometre walk. Always walk 100 meters as warm-up and warm-down time before and after you run and always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. After one week begin adding one or two meters to one of the 100 meter runs each day until both runs have reached 120 meters each, then:
Change to 3 runs of 80 meters each, with walks between runs. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Begin adding one or two meters to one of the 80 meter runs each day until the 3 runs have reached 105 meters each, then:
Change to 4 runs of 80 meters each, with walks between runs. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Begin adding one or two meters to one of the 80 meter runs each day until the 4 runs have reached 100 meters each, then:
Change the four 100 meter runs to 150 meters each by gradually adding one or two meters to one of the 100 meter runs each time you run. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Then:
Change the four 150 meter runs to 200 meters each by gradually adding one or two meters to one of the 150 meter runs each time you run. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Then:
Gradually increase two of the 200-meter runs to 400 meters while gradually decreasing two of the 200 meter runs to zero. Add one or two meters to one of the 200 meter runs each time you run while decreasing one of the 200 meter runs by the same amount. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Then:
Gradually increase one of the 400 meter runs to 800 meters while gradually decreasing one of the 400 meter runs to zero. Add one or two meters to one of the 400 meter runs each time you run while decreasing one of the 400 meter runs by the same amount. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Then:
After a warm-up walk of 100 meters run 800 meters and walk the remainder of the distance to complete the 1.5 kilometre walk. Gradually increase the 800 meter run by 10 meters each time you run and decrease the remaining distance walked by 10 meters until you are running 1500 meters non-stop. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted. Always walk 100 meters as warm-up and warm-down time before and after you run.
Gradually increase the 1500 meter run to 4 kilometres. Add seven meters to the distance your child runs each time she runs. If you run only every two days then add 10 meters to the distance she runs each time she runs. Always ensure your child is happy, well and not exhausted.
If you run daily and add 7 meters each day it will take about 12 months to reach 4 kilometres running distance. If you run every second day and add 10 meters each day it will take about 16 months to reach 4 kilometres running distance.
Running Into the Future:
From this point on continue your child’s running development by gradually increasing the distance she runs each day or two up to 5 kilometres or more. Alternatively, parent and child can gradually begin running on different surfaces such as hilly terrain, or rough terrain (cross-country), and increase distances at a later date.
Clothes: Light and loose fitting in warm to hot climates. Warmer, but ideally not heavy or bulky, in colder climates.
Shoes: Obtain a pair of good quality running shoes for your child.
What your child should be doing at this Level of development:
What your child should be doing as she enters the next Level of development:
Running up to four kilometres per day, non-stop.
Some average children aged 6 to 12 years might move on to Level 7.
A magnificentchildren.love child could potentially move on to Level 7 at approximately age 4 years.