Thursday, March 15, 2012

Setting Their Own Pace

Lizzy learned how to ride a two wheel bike today.  She'll be 7 in June.  I tried to teach her many times last summer and she just wasn't getting it.  This year I promised her a new bike if she learned how to ride a two wheeler (her current bike has been taken over by Joy).  She didn't seem in any hurry to learn and told me that she would just stick with her scooter.  I secretly wondered if she would ever learn to ride a bike.

We were out in the driveway this afternoon planting seeds for our garden in milk jugs when Lizzy looked across the street and saw her friend learning to ride a bike.  She saw Julia go up and down the street with her dad running behind her and then she saw Julia riding on her own.  She said, "Look, mom.  Julia learned how to ride her bike."

Lizzy put her helmet on, got her bike out and asked if I'd take the training wheels off because she wanted to try it.  She had one little wobble and then she took off.  I told her that she was going too fast and I couldn't keep up with her so she'd better come back when she was ready to stop since I hadn't taught her that skill yet. She figured it out on her own.  She figured out how to restart herself on her own.  In the space of 2 minutes, Lizzy could ride her bike all on her own.  I didn't even break a sweat.

I learned a valuable lesson this afternoon.  Children will set their own pace.  I can fight it by pushing them, cajoling them, trying to make them learn a skill before they are ready, but it is a whole lot easier when I just take a breath, step back, and let them set the pace.  And when they finally are ready to accomplish a skill, be there to cheer for them and tell them how proud I am of them for persevering.  The smile on Lizzy's face when she realized she could now ride a bike was priceless.

1 comment:

  1. Yah, and then she came to our house to have us, (Grandpa and Grandma) watch her ride her bike all by herself! She was soooooo proud. And so were we!