Friday, April 24, 2015

Training Wheels Not Necessary

Our son, Zach, was three the first time he became a big brother. When John told him he had a baby sister, he was excited, but then said he thought that all big brothers needed a bicycle instead of his tricycle.

So the day after we brought Elizabeth home, John went to town and came home with a little blue bicycle for Zach. He was elated…except for one thing…that bike had training wheels and (in Zach’s words) big brothers didn’t use training wheels.

You can probably guess what happened next. The training wheels were removed from the bicycle. We figured Zach would either be able to ride without them or would soon figure out he needed them. John and I were sure the training wheels would be going back on, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. In less than an hour, three year-old Zach was riding that little blue bike around the yard like he’d been doing it for years.
I’m so glad we gave Zach the opportunity to try. If we would have refused him; telling him he wasn’t ready to ride without the training wheels or that he couldn’t do it, we would have been stifling his self-confidence and his ability to do what he knew in his heart he could do.

What about you? Do you hold your children back from trying new things? Do you deny them opportunities to grow their confidence and self-esteem because you don’t think they’re ready or capable?
So what if they don’t succeed? At least they will have tried. At least they won’t have to wonder ‘what if’. At least they’ll know you believe in them and want them to believe in themselves. Besides, most of the time you’ll find that your children won’t ask for these opportunities unless they really want them. And if they want something bad enough, they are going to give it all they’ve got—and that’s what really matters most.

Zach wasn’t a three year-old with super powers that September day in 1986. He was a little boy who really wanted to ride a two-wheel bike because in his mind that was what big brothers were supposed to be able to do...and so he did. I’d also like to think that being allowed to try rather than being told ‘no’ has something to do with the fact that over the years he’s proven to be highly proficient in operating anything on wheels.
Remember…your job as a parent is to love unconditionally and to foster your child’s sense of self-worth and confidence and to allow them opportunities to find out just who that someone is.

Momma D
                        Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without the permission of the author.