Derek is learning to ride his bike without training wheels. He can push off, go straight, turn, and even stop on his own. Most of the time. He's still learning. He's still figuring out how to consistently put together all the steps and stay balanced.
The frustration of falling instead of turning, of putting his feet on the pedals and tipping instead of moving forward, of not being perfect every time is hard to deal with.
It's hard for him and it's hard for me.
I'm trying to be patient, to be the calming influence that will help him keep going.
I want to teach him grit.
A few years ago I read something about grit being one of the strongest determining factors for success later in life. I don't think I have a lot of grit myself, but I want Derek to be better than me - so I'm trying. How do you tell a little guy, sobbing in the middle of the road and begging for his training wheels because he's just fallen for the fourth or fifth time, that it's worth it?
I remember, as a kid myself, crying under the teacher's desk at school (my mom was the teacher so it might not be as weird as it sounds) because I wasn't perfect. Now I see the same behavior in Derek. I don't want him to give up and cry. I want him to try again. How do you teach that? Is it enough to try to pick him up and say let's go, and to just keep going yourself? Can I teach by encouragement and example? Or is there something more I should do?