One of the most rewarding things as a parent is seeing your children overcome a struggle or fear. Why? Because when you love someone that much, their struggles become YOUR struggles. You want to HELP them navigate this world. You want to equip them with all the tools they need to succeed. You want to make sure they can "get back up" after falling down. Life isn't fair. It can be downright cruel sometimes. Sure, it's great if your child is great at math and reading...but how they handle LIFE is even more important.
My son is 5-years old. He's at an age where he sees other kids doing things and wants to do them too. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, he started asking us for a bike. So...it was his big gift this year. Over the holiday break, Donato couldn't wait to ride his new bike. Last week, we took him to an empty parking lot and he hopped on for the first time. Let's just say it didn't go very well. He got very frustrated because he had never pedaled before and he was having a tough time trying to figure it out. Even with training wheels, he was afraid of falling. He insisted I "hold" onto the bike (and him) as he pedaled.
We encouraged him to keep trying. He did it a few more times and finally said he wanted to go home. My husband and I never want to "force" Donato to do anything he's not ready for, so we didn't push back. We went home. A couple of days went by and we asked him if he wanted to practice pedaling. He reluctantly agreed.
We took him to a different parking lot. He got on the bike. He struggled again...but he kept trying. Eventually, he got into a rhythm...and started to gain confidence. His fear started to dissipate. He didn't ask me to hold him. It was a turning point. I grabbed my phone to videotape it...
Shortly after this video was taken, Donato was navigating the entire parking lot without our help. Then...he surprised my husband and I by asking us if he could ride his bike on a sidewalk. We went back home and he did great on the sidewalk. He was proud of himself...and so were we. We hope he learned that the very thing you FEAR can turn into something FUN. We hope he learned that no matter how frustrated you get, you've got to keep pushing through. The reward of finally achieving the goal will be worth it. It's a lesson we all need to be reminded of as we take on a new year.