It’s as easy as riding a bike  

ID-10043348

There are certain times throughout parenthood where you are faced with a scenario where you need to teach your child a skill, but may want to put it off as it is a tedious or painful task for you.

A prime example of this is when you teach your kids to ride a bike. They generally start riding bikes with the assistance of training wheels. These allow them to have a sense of freedom as they wobble side to side from one training wheel to another, never having to really master balancing the bike.

Your child knows the basics of riding a bike and they can ride for fun. You have that internal conversation with yourself whether you bite the bullet and teach them how to balance and ride, or is it easier (for both you and the child) to let them use training wheels until they are an adult? It’s one of those jobs that you know is going to back-breaking but eventually you have to dedicate the time to teach them a life long skill. This means you have to try to hold the bike seat whilst running alongside the child, all the while barking orders and trying to not let the bike fall over sending the kid (and/or you) over the handlebars. It’s not an exercise for those with weak backs as it is unnatural to twist your back, pulling and pushing on the bike frame, whilst running.

My son loved riding his bike as a toddler and insisted we remove his training wheels at two years of age. As you can imagine, his bike barely reached my knees, so running, twisting, bending and manipulating the bike was a nightmare. Thankfully he was so motivated that he picked it up quite quickly, whereas my daughter was seven before we could convince her she needed her training wheels removed.

Apart from having to manipulate your body into what resembles a yoga pose while running, it also takes a bit of deception to make the child think you are holding them, while intermittently letting go in the hope that they will start to balance the bike by themselves. Eventually they will get the knack and before you know it, your hard work has paid off. They will eventually have a skill that they can recall and use anytime in life – hence the saying, ‘it’s like riding a bike’.

There is immense relief once you have taught your child to ride a bike (assuming that is without injury to you, the child or the bike) and the effort seems worthwhile. So if there is a task you have been putting off with your child, embrace the challenge and give it a go – there’s no time like the present.

(Picture courtesy of digitalart, freedigitalphotos.net)

BACK TO SCHOOL

ID-10044914

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m hoping to prove that wrong. Today I started saxophone lessons at my kid’s school. After searching for a tutor, I asked the kids’ school music teacher if she could recommend someone appropriate to teach me. She suggested I get lessons from one of the private tutors at school and assured me that I would not be the only parent going through the school for tuition. Thank god I’m not expected to don the school uniform to attend!

So today I fronted up with my saxophone in hand and wandered the halls looking like a lost student in search of my new teacher. I eventually found my tutor and the appropriate room and unpacked my gleaming new saxophone.

I thought as I learned flute as a teenager, it would be easy to just start playing the saxophone, but it was humbling to sit as a student and learn to play from scratch.

It’s a weird experience to walk the halls of my kids’ school as a student, have a lesson and be given actual homework, but I figure you are never too old to learn and that with passion and dedication anything is possible.

Whether it is publishing a book (by the way, my latest book ‘Music Score’ is available at Amazon – sorry for the blatant cross promotion) or learning to play the saxophone, I want to make sure that I cross as many items off my bucket list as possible. I hope that instead of just preaching to my kids that they can achieve anything they set their mind to, that I can lead by example. I may not ever be a saxophonist in a jazz band, but I hope that in the not too distant future I will be able to belt out a few Kenny G tunes without the emanating sound being mistaken for a form of torture!

(Image courtesy of nuchylee, freedigitalphotos.net)