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How do you teach a 7 year old to ride a bike? I have been having so many sleepless nights worrying over this question. Tink should have learnt years ago, but due to his dad working all over the country, and myself being pre-occupied with Pup, it was an impossible task. We tried several times. Tink is stubborn, easily frustrated and may have a few balancing problems. If he can’t do something straight away he basically “loses the rag” and refuses. Many times he has thrown the bike down, kicked it and stormed off. I constantly hear myself saying “You CAN Do It” not that it helps.

Child 1 vs. Child 2

I believe that his age now may have a lot to do with it. If he had learnt earlier he wouldn’t have the same fears he has now. Pup, for example, has no fear. We got him a wee balance bike and he will just whizz about the garden. Tink seems to be so apprehensive and scared to try in case he falls. When he was younger he had fewer inhibitions.

You Can Do It
Pup & his Bike

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I now find myself constantly wondering what if? What if we had tried harder? What if we had made more time? In hindsight I would have done a lot of things differently. Tink has always been, let’s say awkward. We had one hell of a time toilet training him. Again, I blame myself, we tried too early. Maybe I put too much pressure on him.

Nowadays they advise new mothers to follow the baby’s lead. Maybe that notion would have worked better with Tink but, I found myself getting so strung out, that my emotions were always mirrored by him. I learnt from my mistakes though and was much more laid back with the Pup. He basically toilet trained himself. He decided, all on his own, to stop wearing pull ups at night. We still have the odd wee issue with Tink. Toilet training was a long drawn out process, full of highs and lows, mostly lows. We kept going round and round in circles. I am starting to think that teaching him to ride a bike will follow the same pattern. Raising boys is tough.

Taking Action

Yesterday, Pup was in nursery until 16:45. This gave me some alone time with Tink so, I decided to use this opportunity to take him to a local car park.

It went exactly as expected. After 20 minutes, he lost his temper, kicked his bike and said he’d rather run around. On a positive note, my arms got a work out. Tink doesn’t even try to balance when he knows you are holding him, so all my effort went into keeping him upright. He is so unbelievably lazy. I honestly don’t think I could have done it for much longer. It leads me to believe that this should be a daddy job.

Thankfully, with his change in shifts, he will have more days off to help out. I know that I will still continue to stress about it though, especially when I see other children, younger than Pup, able to ride without stabilizers. Every child does learn at their own pace and in their own time but I know that in this instance, we, the parents are partly at fault for his delay. I feel so guilty when I see his friends out and he knows he cannot join them yet.

Long Road Ahead

I am hoping that we will eventually get there but I know it will be a long road. The only consolation I have is that my health visitor advised that she went through roughly the same thing. She had to hinder her youngest from learning until her eldest learnt. I don’t think I will be able to hinder Pup; he is too much of his own mindset that if he is going to do something, he will do it. Tink is the complete opposite. He is more along the lines of, if I can’t do it, I won’t do it. Once again, I find myself saying “You can do it”. I wonder when I will finally say “You Did It“.

Swings and roundabouts!!!

We just have to keep on trying. The Little Engine That Could comes to mind:

Just think you can, just think you can, and have that understood – and very soon you’ll start to say I always knew I could…

I knew I could, I think I can, I knew I could, I think I can…

Watty Piper, The Little Engine That Could

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