Kirra’s training wheel popped off on the way home from school. Luckily, she landed in the grass. Crying insued. We walked the bike the other half mile home.
She is five years old and nearing the midpoint of her kindergarten year. I took it as a sign the training wheels need to come off. I put them in the trash immediately. We abandoned homework and Kirra hopped on the bike.
Leading up to this point, I imagined the difficulty would be getting her started. It was no problem. She was ready. Pedaling is second nature to her now. My next expectation was she would struggle with balance. No problem.
And then came stopping. I had no idea. It never crossed my mind the degree of difficulty. She has no idea how to stop. I have to help her.
Kirra and I are working on stopping. Without crying. Without panicking. Without giving up. Here is what is helping so far:
- Stay calm. If I panic, she panics.
- Don’t just tell her what to do, show her what to do. I took my bike out of the garage and let he watch me stop.
- Focus on encouragement. The more I encourage her progress with positive remarks, the more confidence she gains.
- Don’t catch her every time she falls. My instinct is to keep her from getting hurt. But she needs to feel what it’s like to fall to know how to prevent it the next time.
- Give it time. I have a time-frame I think it should take to learn. It’s short. Her time-frame is different. She needs time.
- Expect the best. I know Kirra will learn to stop. I believe in her.
As parents, there are many moments in our kids lives that we need to help them stop. It doesn’t change the older they get. It may increase. How we do it matters.