Indian Parenting - New Skills
I, rather naively, thought the tough bit about being a parent was going to be the sleep deprivation when the baby’s teething and awake a few times at night, or holding them tight when they’ve hurt themselves (or had their immunisations). I thought explaining how maths works and teaching how to read was testing my patience but nothing compares to teaching my eldest daughter how to ride a bike.
Who would have thought it would grow to be a nemesis - an inanimate object and quite innocent looking too? The thought used to conjure up happy memories of cycling to exciting places with wind in my hair and the sunshine on my face. Close my eyes and I can see me in my pink shellsuit, the sparkle of metal braces on my teeth as I smile to the ‘clickety-clack’ sounds made by the spoke beads collected from cereal packs!
I never paid a thought to the pain my dad had probably been through in trying to teach me how to cycle though. The number of different ways to encourage, coax, bribe! The hours spent breaking down the various elements – pedalling, balance, starting off – and concocting ways to develop skills in each area. In hindsight, the man deserved a medal for his patience in trying to teach me some of these key skills in life!
We started in earnest last year but in hindsight, probably started for the wrong reasons i.e. she had outgrown her bike and the larger frames didn’t come with stabilisers! It was fraught and destined to end with me throwing the bike at a hedge in frustration (not my finest moment, admittedly).
However, a long winter break appears to have helped and with a bit of good advice (thanks Sanj) coupled with patience, persistence (and earned treats!), I am pleased to report that she has conquered the skill! Yesterday I watched proudly as she happily pedalled the length of the street, making stops, turns and getting some decent speed too. I’m already planning summer holiday activities with her to build memories of adventure on two wheels!
The experience has reconfirmed to me the value of learning the lessons we teach our kids – that patience and persistence pays off and everyone can learn new skills when they need to – whether you’re learning to ride a bike or learning to teach. Setting up this site is much the same and the effort is rewarded when clients report their contentment with their purchases. When I hear the kids wearing the little lenghas and churidar suits twirled gleefully at weddings and never complained about needing to change, it makes the effort worthwhile.
Next stop will be learning to drive! I’ll leave that to the experts!