I am happy to report that my almost 9-year-old just learned to ride a bike. Woohoo! We were a little concerned this might never take place. Her fear got in the way and she was adamant that it was not going to happen. Nope. She was not getting back on that bike.
Everyone kept asking, “Did she learn yet?” Even we were coaxing her to try again. But she just wasn’t ready. Yes, she may be going into the 4th grade and is taller than most kids in her grade. However, you can lead a horse to water but you absolutely cannot make them ride a dang bike.
After some research and a lot of coaxing we found a method that seemed to intrigue her enough to give it a try again. It involved taking the peddles off the bike and mastering balance before getting overly hung up on the whole shebang of riding. After a few practice sessions she was ready to peddle on her own. It worked! This step-by-step process actually gave her confidence in bite-sized bits rather than diving in head first. Some kids just learn that way.
You may be wondering why the heck I am writing about such a mundane subject. All kids learn to ride a bike. Blah blah blah.
On the day my daughter learned to ride, a woman began talking to my husband. She was cheering our daughter on and chit chatting with him about how wonderful that she was learning to ride a bike. My husband was touched not only because she was one of many strangers that was cheering our daughter on, but because it was clear that this woman’s child physically would never ride a bike.
It got me thinking about how we put so much pressure on our kids to learn things within a specific time frame.
- Would the world end if my daughter never learned to ride a bike? No.
- Do we want her to challenge herself and overcome fear? Yes.
- Does it really matter that another child learned to ride a bike at 5 and our daughter is almost 9? No way.
- Should we stop and acknowledge just how blessed we are? Without a doubt.
I too was inspired by that woman because it solidified the fact that we should be thankful for who are children are, for what they accomplish when they accomplish it and applaud them for every little hurdle they overcome.
If we pushed too hard, bike riding would have never happened. Her heart would have not been in it and any joy would have gone right out the window. But allowing her to do things on her terms resulted in a kid who was utterly thrilled that she did it. Her confidence soared and she was happy. This also resulted in parents who couldn’t have been more proud or more blessed.
“Every flower blooms at its own pace.” ― Suzy Kassem