Yesterday I set out to, once again, try to help JJ learn to ride his bike without training wheels. We have tried a few times before, but with JJ’s stubborn and yet competitive personality, it is EXTREMELY unpleasant when he is not able to master a skill. He gets so frustrated with himself that he becomes an emotional mess and loses all self-control….once he gets to that point it’s almost impossible to teach him because he can’t calm down. Yesterday started off with the same ‘ol story. A few attempts down the street was all it took for him to start scream-crying and saying “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” He was hyperventilating, crashing right and left, not giving full effort, and even got to the point where he launched his helmet across the street and said, “I FEEL LIKE KNOCKING MYSELF OUT!!!” You almost don’t know whether to laugh or to cry! But I can assure you that the neighbor kids who were outside playing probably thought I was torturing JJ by the sound and sight of it all! I was getting so frustrated with his Drama King mode that I told him we were NOT going to stop trying until he figured out how to do it. And then I bribed him with Subway for lunch – his favorite. :)
We probably were out there on the street trying, crashing, getting back on, arguing with each other, etc, etc, for about 30 minutes. Then we took a water break and Jayla, Justice and I listened to JJ state his case that he was absolutely all done practicing. With a smile Justice said to me, “Can I try to help him?”
YES! I needed a break from the mental madness! So I sat down on the sidewalk and grabbed my camera. Just to give you a glimpse, the unwilling subject looked like this:
He did NOT want to try anymore. But with Justice’s big ‘ol smile and encouraging words, he finally talked JJ into hopping back on.
They made a couple of runs down the street while Justice held onto JJ’s seat. But each time Justice would let go JJ would swerve off into the curb.
But herein entered Justice's PATIENCE!!! And JJ totally responded to it. After each failed attempt Justice was so positive with him and yet firm in telling him that he could do it!!!!!!!! JJ still yelled and argued back with Justice each time he swerved into the curb, but Justice would just laugh it off, instruct him on what he was doing wrong, and then encourage him to start again. Pretty soon I realized that JJ had completely stopped crying and was actually focusing!
And then, after about 5 minutes of Justice helping him, JJ GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
I sat there on the sidewalk and tears filled my eyes….I was witnessing something SO SPECIAL….the bond of brotherhood.
And later that night on our usual walk/bike ride….no one would have ever known that JJ just learned how to do this hours before. He looked like a pro. :)
On our walks Justice used to have to stop and wait at each corner for JJ to catch up to him. But now they can ride right next to each other at the same pace....like brothers do. :)