Riding a bike without stabilisers

We had a fairly momentous milestone in our house this weekend! Mothers day 2017 will be remembered in our house as the day Monkey learned to ride his bike. I cannot tell you just how pleased, and relieved I am to be able to write that, as I wasn’t sure when this day would come!IMG_20170326_195924_439

I’ve written before about our boy and my worries for him. He can be very stubborn and he gives up on things. He refuses to try something if he thinks he is going to fail at it, crying and saying “I can’t do it” without even trying. He’s the same at school too apparently. He’s only 4 I know but it’s something we have to work on. His self confidence and believing in himself that he can do things if he just tries.

It’s hard to know how to deal with it sometimes. I try to positively encourage him, but I’m not a perfect person and I get frustrated when he refuses to try. I also find that if I pander to him too much, that he will just play on that and keep crying until I either give in to him or get cross. Every kid is different I know, and I have to find the way that works for him, and it’s often that something that worked before, won’t work again!

Sometimes I find I have to use a bit of a “stick and carrot” approach. I have to give him a reason to try, usually a combination of the promise of something positive and the threat of something negative. On their own neither seem to work for him but a bit of both can just do it sometimes. For example yesterday was all about how proud everyone was going to be of him when he did it. His relatives, his teacher, his friends. It was enough incentive some of the time… But after a while he started to give up, even though he was making such good progress. So then I got cross. I told him that if he didn’t stop crying and didn’t try again, that he wouldn’t see his Granny & Grandad that afternoon. And what do you know, his tears stopped, he said ok, and he tried again.

I don’t like having to be the bad guy as a parent. I hate having to threaten but sometimes I have to as nothing else will work and I guess the end justifies the means. It’s like the thousand times that I ask him nicely to do something, then eventually shout. I don’t want to shout at all but when asking nicely doesn’t get you anywhere, sometimes you have to. It was the same with his recent tears at school in the morning. The more we were nice about it and the more attention we gave him the worse he got. We couldn’t find any reason for the tears other than he wanted to stay with us, which isn’t possible. Once we ignored the tears and ushered him in without acknowledging them (much as it broke my heart not to cuddle him) surprise surprise he stopped crying in the morning. I hate it but the truth is that it works. I guess it’s all about balance.

Anyway, back to the cycling. Once he was trying again, we found it really helped him to have one of us a little way ahead so he could focus on getting to us and concentrate on where he was going. Once he had enough of an incentive his progress sped up, and well, it just clicked. He just got it and then he was off!20170326_145418_0:13.110

It was amazing!

I was then running alongside him and I made up a little theme tune for him “woo oo woo oo Monkey can do it, woo oo woo oo Monkey can do it” which he picked up and as he cycled started singing “woo oo woo oo, I can do it!”

Once he started he didn’t stop and he doesn’t want to get off now! He was so proud to go into school today and tell his teacher and show his friends, and I’m so pleased for him. I hope that we can build on this and remind him of this day. Of how he tried and how he achieved! I hope we can help build his confidence and and give him the courage to try instead of giving up.

15 thoughts on “Riding a bike without stabilisers

  1. That’s so wonderful to read. Sadly this Monkey is now 7 and still hasn’t learned to ride his bike. The bike that is now way too small for him, but he refuses to change, as he wouldn’t be able to have ‘exactly’ the same bike 🙁 So pleased for you both, a real milestone moment x #SSAA

  2. Hi, what a lovely treat for Mother’s Day. I love the woo woo tune and that monkey then joined in when riding his bike. What s great milestone #bestandworst

  3. Brilliant! My eldest is a little like this, doesn’t like to try if he thinks he won’t be able to do it! So pleased that he kept at it and got the hang of it, lovely to hear how proud he is 🙂 #truthabout

  4. Fantastic. We took ours off at the end of fall and it didn’t go overly well, but the weather turned on us before we could really give it a go. I can’t wait for a bit of warmth so she can try again #twinklytuesday

  5. Ah he looks so proud of himself. This is such a big milestone and I may use your tips with the grem who can be a bit negative sometimes when she can’t do it! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  6. This is brilliant. Zach keeps asking for his stabilisers off but I thought he was too young. Now I know about monkey I’ll have to rethink. I think the stabilisers hold him back as they kind of drag don’t they?! Well done monkey! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  7. Well done Monkey, I think he has gained this skill at quite a young age. I’m sure I was older when I reached this point in my biking journey. I really hope your plan to overcome Monkey’s fear works. We are discovering this fear with our little lady. It’s a whole new thing for us!

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements

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