Riding Without Training Wheels

Well, it happened today at about 7:15 EST. Our baby daughter, who is almost 6 years old, rode her bike without training wheels for the first time. Yippee! My two daughters came inside and announced this evening that the 6-year-old was ready for the big moment. My wife and I retreated to the front sidewalk of our addition to cheer her on. I took off her training wheels and guided her about 10 to 20 feet before it was clear she did not need me anymore – boy, I don’t like the sound of that. I’m already starting to have visions of her walking down the aisle at her wedding, then fast forward to her walking me down the hall at the nursing home in my wheelchair.

Don’t get me wrong, it is incredible to see her develop and reach more and more milestones. It’s just that sometimes it makes you feel older a little sooner than expected. Still, I would much rather watch my daughter grow up in front of my eyes than watch a movie, television, or sports. This is real life and it is exciting. You can’t buy these kinds of experiences, and you don’t want to let them slip by right under your nose.

What was even more special tonight was our 8-year-old daughter helping the 6-year-old get ready to ride without training wheels. She seemed even more excited that her younger sister. As parents you always need to look for opportunities to reinforce positive behavior. So we told both of the girls how very proud we were of them. This is even more amazing when I think about it because the girls hardly ever go 1 hour without arguing with each other.

This day has given us another blessing. Whenever the girls start to argue with each other, we can stop them and say, “Remember when you two worked together so well that you helped your sister to ride her bike without training wheels?” What a great object lesson. I just love it when a plan comes together.

Related Articles:

Letting the Child Decide When He’s Done Something

Children Learn and Develop One Step at a Time

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About Rich Andrews

Rich has been married 20 years to his wife Laura. They have 4 children together, one with many special health and learning needs because of velocardiofacial syndrome. They homeschool 2 of their 4 children. Rich has been a stay-at-home dad for the past year after working in social services for 15 years. Laura works from home full time as a medical transcriptionist. Both parents have degrees in education and have done a lot of research on health- and family-related issues. The Andrews family is committed to living a healthy lifestyle, a commitment that has become more important to them than ever after Laura was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly after the birth of their fourth child. Rich worked for 9 years as a Child Protective Services (CPS) Case Manager, investigating allegations of abuse and neglect. He has also served as a Guardian ad Litem for children in divorce cases involving custody and has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for child welfare cases, representing the best interests of children in court.

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