Scandal by parents who forced their 6-year-old son to run a marathon: “He was struggling physically”

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The eight members of the Crawford family, after having crossed the finish line (@fightfortogether)
The eight members of the Crawford family, after having crossed the finish line (@fightfortogether)

On May 1, Ben and Kami Crawford participated with their family in the marathon Flying Pig held in Cincinnati. The big news is that the couple completed the tour with their six children, including little Rainier, just six years old. After the images went viral, the rejection of both parents multiplied when they questioned how they had forced the little one to travel the 42,195 kilometers of the test.

As they themselves show on their social networks, the family usually participates in this type of competition and that is why they train daily. However, the fact that a six-year-old child joins these challenges generated so much criticism that even Child Protective Services intervened in the matter. “They came to our house unannounced and interviewed our children, parents and grandmother. This is a terrifying process because children are often questioned away from their parents, against their will, and their answers determine the agency’s legal right to take the children away from them,” Ben and Kami Crawford revealed on their Instagram account. In addition, they assured that they do not exercise any type of abuse on their children.

“Someone reported that we dragged Rainier after mile 13 and crossed the finish line pulling him against his will. All 8 family members and eyewitnesses (including police officers), and our hours of filming reveal a different story: that Rainier is a young human who was very determined to finish and was never dragged ONE TIME all the way through”, they explained.

However, in previous posts They revealed that the child suffered the test, to the point that at various times he asked to stop: “He was struggling physically and wanted to take a break and sit down every three minutes.”, they told in a publication made shortly after the marathon ended. As they themselves explained, the boy only wanted to eat fries, which were delivered at mile 20: “After 7 hours, we finally reached mile 20 and only found an abandoned table and empty boxes. (Rainiero) He was crying and we were moving slowly, so I told him I’d buy him two tubes (of chips) if he kept moving.”

The boy's parents assured that they did not force their son to complete the course (@fightfortogether)
The boy’s parents assured that they did not force their son to complete the course (@fightfortogether)

This episode in which the suffering of the boy is exposed is not the only one that was published. Even in another shorter test, the little boy had already stated that he did not enjoy these challenges: “The last race was the toughest so far. It took us 4 hours. Rainier said, ‘I don’t like being rushed and it’s not fun.’ Today we will run more slowly. I don’t know if we are fast enough to finish the marathon on time, but I prefer to finish together.”

Ben and Kami Crawford argue that they did not force their son to participate in the race, but it was he who wanted to do it to be with his parents and his five brothers. All eight members of the clan crossed the finish line at the same time, after 8 hours and 35 minutes.

In an extensive statement, the child’s parents defended their actions and assured that although their youngest son suffered at times from the journey, that is part of the test: “Yes there were tears. She had a fall and every member of our family has cried during marathons. These experiences were very limited compared to what has been reported And, despite the incredible physical and emotional hardship of running a marathon, the amount of her crying is comparable to what we would have experienced if we had stayed home on a Sunday morning.

Finally, in reference to the incentive they used with Rainier by promising him French fries to keep him running, they argued that such parenting methods “are used sparingly and carefully,” adding: “Our breeding methods are not conventional, but we do not believe that accusations or arguments with incorrect facts are helpful.”

The Crawford family often competes in events of this style (@fightfortogether)
The Crawford family often competes in events of this style (@fightfortogether)

The release of the Crawford family

On May 1, our family of 8 finished a 26.2-mile (42.195-kilometer) marathon. This is the first marathon that our entire family has run together. Our 5 oldest children waited over an hour at mile 25 and after 8 hours and 35 minutes we all crossed the finish line together. After 2 days celebrating with friends, the way we spend the day has drawn a lot of attention from some who accuse us of being irresponsible and even abusive. To that end, I’d like to lay out a few facts for public conversation.

1. We have never forced any of our children to run a marathon and we can’t even imagine that this is practically or emotionally feasible. We have given all our children the option for each race. Last year two children ran without us. In 9 years we have received a total of 53 medals, mostly for children. This year, after begging to join us, we allowed our 6 year old son to train and give it a go. Both parents gave him a 50/50 chance of completing it and were ready to pull the plug at any time if he requested it or if we saw his safety at risk. We asked him numerous times if he wanted to stop and he was VERY clear that his preference was to continue. We saw no signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration and honor your request to continue.

2. Yes there were tears. He had a fall and every member of our family has cried during marathons. These experiences were very limited compared to what has been reported, and despite the incredible physical and emotional hardship of running a marathon, the amount of her crying is comparable to what we would have experienced had we stayed home on a Sunday night. the morning. Many people incorrectly report that people saw him cry “all” or “most” of the race and that there are numerous witnesses. With our finish time this is impossible as we finished the last 5 miles predominantly solo and most people’s experience with us was in a 30 second time. Those who make these sure and absolute claims have no proof.

3. For those who claim that we force our children to run for clicks or money, these claims are baseless. We have been posting before clicks and our videos generate an average of $10 – $30 per day. Just pay for the equipment. We do our best to prioritize our children’s health and day experience over sharing it with anyone else. Communicating these stories is an exciting project that we do with the cooperation and permission of our children.

4. Finally, no publication claims to capture the full scope of our parenting methods or what happened on the day of the marathon. They capture a moment or feeling. You can’t bribe a kid to train hundreds of hours and run 26 miles in the heat for a can of Pringles. If you can’t see this, you are either lazy or not listening. We have hundreds of hours of video detailing the process we use to execute and it’s about as far from coercion or force as it gets. Yes, negotiation and encouragement are parenting methods we use, but they are used sparingly and carefully. Our parenting methods are unconventional, but we don’t think accusations or arguments with incorrect facts are helpful.

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