Our friend Michele’s neighbor was getting rid of a child’s Barbie bike complete with training wheels. Well, the other day Allison got the bike from Michele and today Eva and I washed up the bike. I filled up the tires with air and it was time to get Eva’s helmet on and have her jump on the bike. She was very excited about riding a bike. I even got out Allison’s bike so we could ride together. Thing is we were only riding in the back patio so after 2 pedals I was already across the patio. Eva sort of got the idea but not really.
Let me start off by saying that I am a pretty patient guy with my daughter. The thing is I have a super hard time trying to explain the concept of pedaling the bike to Eva. The other thing is that kids bikes sort of suck. For instance when Eva is on her bike it is the kind that stops by using the pedals. So the pedals go backwards a bit and each time she tried to pedal forward and it got hard her pedals go backwards, she could not keep going forward. When she tried to turn she’d stop. So, I kept encouraging her to go forward. The problem is that I found myself encouraging less and giving orders more. It frustrated me that I could turn from encouraging to giving orders.
Our training session ended in tears when Eva attempted to stop herself by dragging her feet in such a way that if her toe caught she could hurt her leg badly. I was scared that she would hurt herself so I tried to explain to her that she could really hurt her leg by stopping that way. Because I was scared that she would be hurt I raised me voice sharply.I certainly didn’t handle it well. I scared her. I hate that I did that because I do not want to be the kind of parent who just shouts at their kids all the time. I do not like hearing our neighbors yell at their kids and don’t want to get that way myself.
After I raised me voice I felt awful and I took Eva up on my knee and told her that I raised my voice because her actions made me afraid for her safety. I don’t want her hurt so it makes me afraid when I see her doing dangerous things even if she doesn’t see that what she is doing is dangerous. So I told her how I raised my voice because her actions made me afraid. And sometimes when you are afraid of something your fear makes you sound angry. She did not want to hear it and covered my mouth. Our bike riding time was over.
So, now I’m trying to figure out how to teach Eva to ride her bike safely without getting frustrating with her or frustrating her. Anyone know a good resource for teaching kids to ride bikes or good tips?
Maybe I should have read this site first.
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