Saturday, January 22, 2011

On A Bicycle Built For 2

Both of my girls have journeyed into the world of training wheels (I am aware Lydia is on a scooter in this picture.... her bike is in Maine at the moment).

And I can tell you, one thing Lydia does not lack is confidence. She thinks she can do just about anything in the world. So apparently she is a natural learner (when she listens, hehe). I know she's only 3 years old but I don't generally hear her say "I can't". When she figured out all she had to do was put her feet on the pedals and push, she didn't stop.

She's daring. She jumps off the stairs when she gets to the bottom. She used to ask if she could jump off the equipment at the playground, saying it was ok if she fell. She loves theme park rides and when she swings it's always "Higher!" or "Faster!"

Now Alanna... seems the polar opposite. When she was Lydia's age, she didn't like to swing too high. She was never the thrill seeking type. She was terrified to go on Splash Mountain at Disney world. She got a bike for Christmas. While we had some daylight left the other day I took her out to ride around a bit.

Seemed like every few seconds she threw her feet off the pedals and back down on the pavement because she thought she was going to tip over. Problem was she was going to slow to stop the bike from wobbling. So I gave the bike a push to get her going and off she went. Still has a problem with the breaks. She doesn't use them. Heh. Puts her feet down. Has ended up with a few scraps from the pedals for doing that.

She kept telling me that she sucked at bike riding. When I took her out, it was only her second time on an actual bike. She's ridden trikes and big wheels before but never an actual bicycle. I told her she was doing great, all she had to do was get started. I feel bad that she has that little confidence in herself. When there is absolutely no reason for it.

Good thing is though, that she's excited to keep learning. And I know she'll get the hang of it soon. And Lydia... well, she's only 3 and she'd probably tell you to take the training wheels off of her own bike before she rides it again. Haha.

Make sure you encourage your children. Don't get frustrated if they don't get it the first time. Or even the 2nd and 3rd times. Remember what it was like when you were young and trying to figure something out? Trying to learn something that scares you? Getting frustrated at them isn't going to make it any easier for them. Or for you. They need to know that you're behind them. That you're there to help them. Pick them up and dust them off if they fall down. Let them know it's ok to make mistakes. They want your approval. They want to make you proud. They don't need you to be upset with them to do that. And I can't tell you how many parents I've seen get ticked off at their kids for not "getting" it the first time.

I hope my girls know that I'm proud of them. Mistakes and all.


  1. Hey, Tara! I do remember you (and the dinner). :) You do have such pretty girls, and mine are so similar. My oldest is the fearless one and the younger one is more timid. I completely agree with you about encouraging your kids. I really think it helps build their self-esteems. :)

    Thanks so much for joining my "Bliss-at-Home" project. :)

  2. :-) Thank you. That's cool that you remember me, it's been little over 3 years now since that dinner. :-P
    And you're welcome.

  3. I couldn't agree more about encouraging your kids. Always build them up, not tear them down. That being said, if mine ever want to try out for American Idol and they're horrible, I think I'd have to stop them before they humiliate themselves on TV, ya know? Such a fine line. :)

    Your girls' are adorable! Mine are like yours. My older one needs TONS of encouragement to try anything and lots of support and my little one doesn't even ask. She just does. She doesn't know what fear is. Yep, polar opposites.

  4. Thank you! Isn't it funny how comPLETELY opposite siblings can be?