Are These Parents Pushing Their Kids Too Hard?

February 8, 2013  |  
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Part of a parent’s job is to encourage a child’s passions. But when does encouragement end and forcing begin? That’s the question Kate Snow of Rock Center with Brian Williams is asking about Kaytlynn and Heather Welsch, two top endurance runners. They’re also 12 and 10 years old.

The two sisters live with their parents in Alvin, Texas, where they go to school and hang out with friends like other children their age. But on weekends, their parents take them to intense endurance running competitions on Saturdays and Sundays, where they often  beat the adults. Between the two girls, they’ve completed more than 200 races in the last two years. But they told Snow that running comes naturally and for the most part, it’s relaxing. They hope to be in the Olympics one day.

That seems like a lot of impact for a young body to take and may too much for a young mind, as well. The Welschs’ doctors have confirmed that both girls are healthy. They don’t have bone fractures, joint injuries or muscle strain, but doctors are a bit concerned Heather and Kaytlynn won’t achieve their full skeletal growth because of their tough training routine.

Dad Rodney trains the girls and says the girls are just doing what they love. The sisters are focused when they’re training but know how to be normal kids otherwise. But is this still too much for children so young? Watch the video and tell us what you think.

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