We’re FINALLY riding bikes! (it only took 2 years)

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You guys may recall that we bought the girls bicycles for Christmas 2 years ago. And you might recall me asking you guys for the best way to get the girls riding? (make sure you read the comments for some really great suggestions if you have struggled with this to). Yep. Some things take a little time round here it would seem..

You see, we had the deadline of Maggie, and to get it done before she arrived. But then that passed. And then we would try again, and Daisy would get frustrated and give up, or Harper tried and fell off, so back to the garage they would go. And there they would sit, MOCKING us and the money we spent on them every time we walked into the garage. We would try and encourage, help out and still it kept falling on deaf ears. I’d get frustrated that they wouldn’t even try, and then Harper would get frustrated that no one would help her when she would get the odd desire to try (again) and Daisy? Well, she stayed stoic and stubborn in her ways to show us that she actually never needed to ride a bike in her whole life. That it was dumb. That we should just leave her be. And so it went on, the occasional push, the leaving be etc etc.

And then at the start of this week Harper decided that she was going to do it. And I knew she meant business. When Harper makes her mind up, there’s little to stop her. I checked Youtube for the best way to teach her, I gave her focused time while Maggie slept and we just kept at it on the lawn that had freshly cut and short grass. And after not so long, an hour or so? Well, she was almost getting it!

And after hearing words of praise and encouragement from both parents to her little sister, well it was WAY too annoying for Daisy to bear. So I told her to just have a go. And after an hour, well she was almost there too. A break and then back out there? THEY DEADSET ALMOST HAD IT. The next morning they were both out there again without any encouragement from us and after maybe 2 more hours? THEY GOT IT. They got it.

Thank goodness they got it.

And the encouragement they gave each other? Filled my heart right on up! The happiness when they got it? Worth everything. And now to see them fanging about and happy that they are “just like everyone else now” it’s pretty bloody good. I’m proud and so happy for them. Daisy said it’s the best thing to happen to her EVER. And it was worth every bit of frustration. “I can ride Mum!”

Parenting hey? The pushing when you can, the leaving be and trying to find the right balance in between.

I asked the girls about why it took them so long and what advice they might have for other kids that have tried something but given up too? Well here’s what they had to say:

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Harper was mortified that her handwriting was so bad, I told her I would type it up but you know, not boverred.

And from Daisy:

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So while we might not be doing much, or going anywhere really fun so far these holidays, I feel like we have kicked some serious goals. A long awaited goal that we can FINALLY tick off. Except that now we will have to buy them new bikes as they have almost grown out of them….sigh.

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Have you had a parenting milestone that took a REALLY long time to get together?
There’s so much I feel like I still need to get right/better: shoelace tying, swimming…it never ends!

Comments

  1. With two very adventurous, water loving boys – I think that we need to tackle swimming lessons head on.

    My eldest was given the green light to swim unaided {i.e. without a parent having to get into the water with him} last summer – which was awesome as I had a baby to look after. And this year, both boys have been given the green light on swimming lessons without me having to hop in.

    Swimming lessons start on the 13th of October – I’ve bought new towels, new swimmers, new caps, new goggles…I really want them to embrace it, because I’m due with number three two days later and I need them to love it and excel at it {so I dont feel like I have wasted my money and so that I feel like they’ll be safe now that we live by the bay and so close to Nannie and Pappie who have a pool}.

  2. Well done you guys! How beautiful are those letters?! My daughter took three years to learn, it was brutal. A few months ago, as we hired bikes to cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge on a spectacular San Francisco day, I remember feeling very happy we stuck with it. A bike = freedom. Here’s to many happy days in the saddle!

  3. My 3 boys live on their bikes and all started riding relatively young. My best advice would be to get them on balance bikes! My eldest never got the balance bike and he was the hardest to teach. My 2 littlest were riding pedal bikes at 3 as they had been fanging it on their balance bikes since they were tiny. They had 2 bikes their balance and a bmx with training wheels just so they could learn to pedal. I think though the trick to teaching any kid is to use the smallest bike you can find. It means they are lighter to hold upright and easier to push the pedals around. We got my 5 year old a pretty expensive mountain bike for Xmas it was the lightest we could find, alloy maybe? Anyway his confidence when he got that bike as opposed to his older heavy bmx was amazing. We go for really long rides and he doesn’t tire and much easier to get light bikes in the back of the car!

  4. You know what this means don’t you. THEY CAN RIDE TO AND FROM SCHOOL. THEY CAN RIDE TI THE SHOP FOR MILK.
    Sense of achievement is just parental cover for errand-advancement.

  5. How gorgeous are those notes! Our son is 5 years old and completely disinterested in riding a bike, he’d rather his scooter…tell your girls they’ve given me hope!

  6. My boys are so old and can not tie a shoelace. We have tried soo many times and they just don’t get it! They even do scouts and that hasn’t taught them a thing about knots! I give up and keep thinking that surely they can just wear slip ons in adulthood.

  7. Swimming…oh my god swimming…four terms of level 2 and my 4 & 1/2yr old still won’t put her head under water so she can’t pass the level and move up. She loves the rest of the lesson, but works herself up into a frenzy and cannot come back from it, every single week. It’s enough to make me bash my head against the wall. Especially as I move mountains to get her there every week at 9am with an older school aged child and a baby. Every week I have to breathe out and stare at the harbour bridge through the glass and keep calm..

  8. Teaching kids how to ride a bike is SO frustrating and hard. Three out of four for us picked it up without to much trouble, but one of our boys has so trouble with balance that I’m sure he will never ever ride. I know this as he is now 23 has still has no clue ??? congrats to your girls for never giving up xx

  9. Bike riding is one of my personal parenting fails. Kids are 6 and 8 – they still can’t ride. Swimming was another, but I was determined that this would be our swimming year and we have conquered this one (challenging when you live in Armidale and there are 5 swimming days a year). Next is teaching the 8-year old to tie his shoe laces. He can’t be bothered and since the 6-year old has learned how, he has his own personal shoes lace tying slave anyway.

    Are these allowed to fall into the ‘one thing’ category? That’s where I put them so that I focus on them for a while, and hopefully get them done eventually.

  10. Way to go Daisy & Harper… Harry was my lazy one – he didn’t want the training wheels to come off and he needed us to push him because “he was tired”… Clancy and Tom on the other hand didn’t even need training wheels. But shoelaces… well Harry still can’t tie those because we have never really taught him and they don’t really wear shoes with laces out here… only for sports day in town… on he is 10 by the way. ha ha ha. You were very patient Beth (after thinking you weren’t so patient the other day) – all those hours… I would have been a raving lunatic.

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