Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don't Stop Believing...

My 8 year old son has adamantly refused to ride a 2-wheeler.
Even with training wheels, he's just not interested.

I've tried to trace it back to a particular incident, a fall, a fear. He remembers something that I don't, something that he tells me was really bad. I know we never took him to the hospital! But in some way, it left a mark on him because he has absolutely refused. Last summer, it wasn't even up for discussion.

But I really really really wanted him to learn to ride a bike. Call me selfish. I want him to have the freedom and independence of a bike as he gets older. I want to have this skill that I think is really important. And fun!

I've offered toys.
I've offered money.
I've offered....well, almost anything. (Except this.)

What I think did it? (I'm still not totally sure!) A young friend recently announced that he wanted to teach Sam, age 4, to ride without training wheels. Notwithstanding Sam's lack of interest in this project, I think a little older-brother-before-younger-brother rivalry came into play.

All of the honor of this teaching goes to my darling husband. Seriously, his patience and calm was amazing.  (He promised David that he wouldn't yell. But he never even appeared to get frustrated with him!)
Teaching David to ride a bike was a remarkably cerebral experience. Michael spent way more time talking than anything. He kept telling David, "trust the bike, trust yourself." It was really amazing to see David actually commit to the learning process.
And then, magically, it clicked.
It took only about 30 minutes total until we got this:
(can you see the smile on his face?)
They make a great team.
I've never tried to rush a milestone for my kids. "They won't start kindergarten in diapers," I would say. "They won't crawl to preschool." But this one I nudged. (and nudged and nudged)

And yet, he still waited until he was ready.

I knew it would happen. I just had to believe it.


mother in israel said...

Send your friend to my house please!

Lisa Goldstein said...

Maury and I tried and tried to teach Missy to ride her 2-wheeler but she just couldn't "get it." Finally, big brother Kenny (who was about 9 at the time) asked if he could try, and sure 'nuff... she was riding within half an hour! So much fun watching them learn!

Sara said...

This post gives me lots of hope. Eli is steadfast in his refusal to even try his bike with training wheels (mostly because when he first tried, the training wheels were too wobbly). He's 6. He loves his scooter. I have a feeling when Braedy decides to learn to ride a bike, Eli will follow suit. Congrats on the achievement...and on letting him do it in his own time. That's a good lesson for me! :)

Robin said...

Way to go David and Dad!

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Otir said...

Sure enough! Never stop believing in your children, in their abilities and resilience... if, like I am, you were the mother of child with autism, you would know for sure that it is a truth every single day.

Kol hakavod to the biker!