Today I am doing something I don’t normally do. I am bragging on my family a little. I will start by saying that I am very lucky to have my family. My wife, my kids, my dogs. They are all amazing. I fall short, but I am hard on myself.
One area I fall short on is moral support. I am hard on everyone and have high expectations. I guess it’s why I fail in my mind so often. I know what I expect and I tend to get mad when my expectations aren’t met. This is hard on my kids. Especially Ricky.
Ricky is paralyzed by fear. When something is scary, he shuts down and that is the end of it. This in turn makes me mad, and we argue, he cries, then I get more mad. I have been much more reasonable since I got on my magnesium, but I am still fixing me. I want to be more supportive.
Anyway, this week Ricky had a huge breakthrough and it was because of me. For all but the last 9 months I was very incapable of showing certain skills and leading by example. So this has made it hard for him to see how things should be done and not be scary.
The big breakthrough this week was riding his bike. He is almost 7 and had no interest. It was scary to him and we have worked for almost 3 years to teach him to ride without training wheels. Falling down made it scary for him to even really try. My anger made it worse. That was my fault.
A few days ago we went for a walk. We came across a concrete wall with a rock facade and he wanted to climb it. He had walked across the top of it, about 7 feet high, with his sisters, so he wanted a bigger challenge. It was late that night so I told him we would try again in a couple days. So, we did.
Wednesday night we went back. He looked at the wall and said he wanted to climb it again. I told him on the way back we could try it, so he wouldn’t get worn out. He also wanted to know the spacing of the section markers on the walking path we use. It is broken into 8 sections, and he was curious. We were off to find the answer first. It was a quarter mile, in case you were wondering. Admit it, you were.
Anyway, we made the walk back to the wall and he tried climbing it. After a disappointing experience on the monkey bars earlier in the day, and a crying episode, and an angry dad, I was determined to do better. He deserved it. He’s awesome. I tried my best to lead by example.
At first, I wasn’t sure I would be able to climb the wall, It doesn’t have the biggest stones sticking out, so I walked him through where to put his hands and feet. He was started trying to say he was too scared, so I showed him that I could climb the wall. I am 215 pounds and in bad shape, but I had to get him past the fear. Up the wall I went.
After I made it up he was unstoppable. I held on to him enough that if he fell he wouldn’t have to start over. Just a little support on the back. My touching him was enough to get past the fear and he made his way up the wall. Three times. It was awesome, and he was so proud.
On the way home he kept saying, “Dad, if you can do something, I can do it.” That was a good time to try to encourage him to ride his bike. He was confident he could do it and was ready to try again. I told him we could try on Thursday morning if he wanted.
Wednesday night I didn’t sleep. Finally about 7 am I dozed off and Abbie got up with the kids. Around 9:30 Ricky came running into the bedroom and shouted, ” DAD. I RODE MY BIKE WITH THE TRAINING WHEELS OFF THE GROUND!” Needless to say, dad got out of bed to watch.
He asked if I would take the training wheels off so he could ride it without. I took them off and we can’t keep him from practicing. It is like a completely different kid. I love it. We were able to have an encouraging moment, instead of another fallout. I had changed my perspective to try to help him, and it worked wonders.
He said now that his fears went to the woods and got lost. I don’t know where he came up with that, but it’s his little brain. The boy amazes me. As parents we will always have moments where we hate how we handled a situation. I am trying my best to change that so I can have more happy moments with my kids. We all deserve it. Don’t stop trying to better yourself for yours.