Balancing Act

Jason has finally entered into the ranks of those who can ride a two wheeler.

Last year a training wheel broke on his bicycle, so I took both off and tried to teach him to ride on only two wheels. He did not yet have the balance necessary to do it. As well, he had a tendency to play up the instability by shouting, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoooooooa!” and then falling off his bike (he did the same this past winter when I tried to teach him to skate). He preferred to go for the dramatic spill to actually riding his bike (or skating) - it was more fun for him.

The previous weekend, I took him on his bike again and doing that awkward stooped run behind him as he peddled I gradually increased the amount of time I let him ride on his own. Finally at the end of the day he was able to ride the last half block to the house on his own.

During the week, Sofia took him out and helped him to practice. This past weekend, he is now able to ride on his own, the only help he needs is a little push to get him going, but once he is going, then he is fine.

It is a great accomplishment for him and he is very proud of himself - as are we.


ghee said…
Oh,I can relate so well.

I remember my daughters.My eldest took a week to ride her two wheeler bike.
My youngest was a fast learner! They both ride a bike when they were 5 yrs.old.My youngest,Ally rode the bike as soon as she put her feet on the pedal,thinking that her father was in his back,holding the bike for her.She was surprised herself when she noticed that no one was there to guide her.But she rode it from the very beginning.

How old is Jason,Richard?Congratulate him from me :D
Richard said…
Jason is 4 (he will be 5 in October). Tania learned when she was 4 as well.

I had hopes Jason might learn to bike sooner because he is very well balanced. He started walking at 9 months, was skateboarding when he was 3, so I figured biking and skating shouldn't be a problem for him. I think he was having more fun falling down than trying to accomplish the tasks.
Ah, independence with the wind in your face! And he shows a flair for drama!
My next door neighbour taught all 3 of us kids to ride bikes in much the same way and then treated us to ice cream. Personally, I think it was the ice cream that did it!!!

Congrats to Jason!
Aw, congrats to Jason! I'm too late to offer my own bit of self-discovered advice about teaching a kid to ride a bike, but I found that when running alongside the bike, my kids learned faster when I held onto their shoulders (as opposed to my holding onto the back of the bike seat).
Barbara said…
I'm sure every one of us remembers that day when we rode alone for the first time. We remember who was last holding onto the seat. We remember the feeling of freedom to be on two wheels going solo. Congratulations to your son. Mark down the day so he will always remember it!
Richard said…
MOI: oh, yes, he enjoys the freedom now.

MIO: it was an assortment of holding the seat, holding his shoulder, basically doing two things at once: (1) making sure he was on his own, (2) being around to catch him if he fell.

I try not to hold my kids, since then they lean on me and don't learn to balance on their own. When I taught Tania to skate, Sofia thought I was cruel not to offer her my hand, but the truth is Tania learned quickly because she learned not to lean on me, but to balance on the skates.

barbara: you remember learning to ride your bike. Wow! I am afraid it is too far in my past to recall. Maybe it was not as momentous an even tfor me as it should have been. I tend to be a little muted on the emotional response side of things.
It just struck me reading these that, what you said to MIO, starting with, "I try not to hold.." could very well be a metaphor for your general approach to your kids in life matters, and a good one I should think!
Richard said…
MOI: Letting go of your kids and letting them grow on their own is hard. Even though mine ar eonly 4 and 7, it is hard to give them greater autonomy. I remember I used to play outside by myself when I was younger than Tania. I remember my brother used to go to the park by himself when he was 3 (ok, it was across the street). He used to wake up at 05:00 and that was too early for my mother to go and play with him, since we lived in a safe area, she let im go by himself. As a parent, I find it hard to let my kids out of my sight. A few weeks back, when we went to see the movie Cars, they needed to go to the washroom. The first time I went with them, the second time I let them go by themselves - it was hard, but they appreciated the freedom and trust (this was a matinee showing with very few people in the theatre, I would have had different ideas if the theatre was packed).

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