Learning to ride a bike – Lessons we can learn from our children

So we’ve been suffering from major parental guilt since the smallest person arrived that we haven’t spent enough time with our 4 year old and his bike. We bought him a pedal bike for his 3rd birthday which, in typical frugal parenting fashion, was both second hand and slightly too big for him.

He’d been burning around on a balance bike up until then, and in fact, until just the other weekend. The husband was determined that no stabilizers would be required and he would transition straight from his balance bike to a regular bike. With one thing and another though, we’d just not got out with him on his big boy bike and as he’s recently turned 4 years old, decided we needed to give him some focused time to master cycling.

So one crisp and cold Saturday afternoon, we got Ellis’ bike out and as the other half and I were wrestling the smallest into an all-in-one snowsuit (what is the knack in getting those things on?), I could hear Ellis getting onto his bike. And as I turned around. There he was. Riding the bike around the garden. Like he’d been on it for years.

We really had geared ourselves up for a stressful afternoon of pushy parenting perseverance from us inevitably leading to hot tantrum of tears from the 4 year old. How wrong was I.

It got me thinking about how often we build a situation up to be more than it has to be. How we might rehearse the scenario in our own head, creating outcomes that could be totally removed from reality. Sometimes we will put things off until ‘we’re ready’ or just avoid them all together as the uncertainty of the outcome puts us off even attempting to make a start.

My eldest boy taught be a valuable lesson that day – sometimes you just need to get on the bike and ride.


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