This summer my six year old learned to ride a REAL bike. We were hoping she would learn to ride last year, but she just wasn’t interested. This year, she wanted to do it and had it down in 5 minutes. There were definitely a lot of skinned knees though, like A LOT! She figured it out in 5 minutes, but in the ensuing days I think she fell more than that first glorious day. Normally she is a little bit of a drama queen when she gets hurt, but this time it was different. She would fall or sometimes jump off her bike before the fall and get right back up. I was seriously impressed with her determination to become a “master” bike rider as she called it. I love to see my kids succeed (who doesn’t?) but I loved even more to watch her truly self-motivated to accomplish her own goal.
This summer we also tried to teach our 4 year old to ride his scooter. Now, you are probably thinking, can’t he just figure it out? Well, it is a totally new concept for him. I would say that he is not uncoordinated, but he was having a hard time connecting all the dots. But there was a HUGE difference…I wanted him to do it. HE didn’t want to do it. The more I pushed, the more he pushed back, sometimes literally. So I gave up trying to help him, and told him he needed to figure it out for himself. Well, he doesn’t want to. He uses his scooter to build construction sites and uses it as a wall to make his sisters crazy when they are trying to ride their bikes. He is definitely more interested in building, digging in the dirt, and teasing his sisters- which is totally fine!
Then there is the two year old. Yep, she actually took the trike from the 4 year old and took off leaving him sitting in the dirt. “But mom that is my trike!” Haha, now you know the attitudes of my little ones. They are all great, but this past year has been the first time when their little personalities are becoming more dominant and the sibling rivalry is coming out. In a way I totally love it, I love to see how they problem solve, or have a LACK of problem solving. Never a dull day here. One thing I have really been learning with my kids though, is to just let them be kids. Sometimes I totally group them into a group called, “little adults.” If you want to read a good parenting book, you should look into “123 Magic.” You can check it out here. I expect them to do things like a rational adult would when their little brains are still just trying to figure out things, like problem solving.
In a way though, I wish I was more like them. I wish I had the internal motivation to do things like my 6 year old. She came with that drive, I didn’t teach it to her. I want to jump right back up when I fall so I can become a “master.” I wish I could not be afraid to share my opinion like my 4 year old. And choose to do things that matter to me. I want to learn from the good around me and laugh like my 2 year old. I want to have fun EVERY day. I think that is why in the scriptures we are counseled to be more childlLIKE. Not childISH. To be more trusting, more loving, less likely to harbor hard feelings and to go to time out and forget about it. One of my favorite scriptures related to this is in the Book of Mormon (want to find out more about what I believe? Go here or here).
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
Sometimes I do “inflict” on my kids my little temper tantrums, but they love me just the same when I tuck them in at night and sing songs. I need to be more like that. I want to be full of love, ALWAYS!
I can learn a lot from my kids every day. This summer I am choosing to let them be kids. I didn’t go crazy with schedules or rules or enforce summer homework, I didn’t need too. My 6 year old will read for hours at a time by herself without me bugging her. If anything with her, I have to take books away. Although I did request book reports and she doesn’t really like that. My 4 year old has decided that he wants to learn to read and is memorizing sight words, because HE wants too. He has also become very creative this summer, he will color for hours and create silly things EVERY day. My 2 year old, she is figuring out that she doesn’t have to scream all the time, but she can watch her brother and sister and do what they do, and most of the time they give her what she wants. Each one of them are different in so many ways, but they are alike in that they are just kids. I want them to enjoy their childhood and enjoy each other. Here is to many more skinned knees, bike rides, stories, coloring, problem solving, endless block towers and much, much more love!