The training wheels are off and Junior Zap is ready to learn to ride without any assistance. But he takes a few spills first. Clearly, learning to ride without training wheels is not simple. It’s a little embarrassing to fall, especially in front of Dad. Despite the protective gear, it hurts. But Dad Zap is a good coach. Just when it looks like Junior might quit, Dad gives him a pep talk and Junior tries again. This time he is off! Spending time with his Dad, Junior Zap has learned two new lifetime skills – riding a bike and knowing that perseverance pays off. More importantly, he has learned an invaluable lesson and that is to have confidence in his Dad as a teacher.
Age-related milestones, such as learning to ride a bicycle, provide parents with the opportunity to teach a host of skills.
There are concrete skills, like Junior’s learning to balance on a bike, while steering it and turning the pedals.
There are safety skills, such as wearing a bicycle helmet, which can save Junior from injury.
There are social skills, like learning to trust parents and other adults to provide the right path to success – a skill which will help Junior enormously in school and out.
Finally, there are character skills, such as learning to stick with a challenge, even in the face of a couple of failures – a skill which everyone needs.
Because milestones, such as learning to ride a two-wheeler, are frequently so full of important lessons, be sure to choose such times carefully. Both you and your child need to be ready and in the right frame of mind for these milestones milestone to turn out successfully. It is up to you to assess in advance whether these lessons have a good chance of turning out positively. This day would have ended much differently if Dad or Junior Zap had been too tired or rushed or if Junior Zap wasn’t far enough along in his physical development to handle it all.
Clearly, both Junior Zap and Dad were in the right head space. There were no frowns at the start. And Dad Zap was able to provide the patience and good cheer necessary to see Junior through the rough spots. On this day, Dad was able to help open up a world of possibilities for Junior.