Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sprinkler Bike

My oldest (6) refuses to ditch his training wheels. We haven't pushed it - He'll be ready when he's ready - but every once in awhile I will bring it up. I try to make it casual but he stiffens each time he hears the words, "training wheels off."

"No Mommy! I have tried and I fell and I don't want to fall again!" Never mind that this was sixth months ago. I have learned that there are times when we have to believe in him more than he believes in himself. We have to tell him, "I KNOW you can do this. It might be hard. It might take time to get it right but we believe in you." I tried that tact. No dice. "Mommy, it's so much more fun this way. I don't want to do it." Closed subject.

"Okay bud. Then let's head out and splash through through the rain puddles with your bikes!" This was greeted with whooping and cheers as all three kids ran to the garage. We spent the requisite twenty minutes locating shoes and putting on helmets and unfolding the stroller. Finally, we were off.

Within three minutes, we were all dripping with sweat. Florida in August is no joke. My daughter jumped out of her stroller to splash in the puddles and my oldest saw an opportunity. He positioned the bike so that the training wheels were on either side of the drainage gully and his rear wheel was in the air (like an exercise bike). "Want to play in the sprinklers, Rosie?" he asked.
"Uh huh!" she said, nodding enthusiastically.

He began pedaling and the water sprayed up behind him. His sister ran through the spray squealing with delight. She let it drench her completely and giggled the entire time. "See Mommy! I couldn't do that without training wheels!!"

How could I argue with that? There will come a time when he is ready to take a leap of faith and take those training wheels off of his bike. And my husband and I will be there to catch him when and if he falls. But that time is going to be up to him. It's hard to not push it - It's one of those things I think he "should" be able to do right now. But when I look at the big picture, he is doing so many other amazing things that I never expected him to be able to do. If I focus on what he isn't able to do, I may teach him that to do the same. Instead, I will choose to praise and admire him for all that he can do at this moment in time.

Do you ever feel pressure to push your children to "keep up" with other kids their age? I encourage you to take some time to focus on their strengths today. Where do they shine? Make sure you tell them - It will probably make their day.

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