A Bike Riding Story About What We Can Learn From Watching Kids
Ever watch a kid do something new?
Watching my kids learn is one of my favorite things about being a parent–and I learn so much in the process I may have to give my daughter, Chloe, her own website, one of these days. Anyway, onto the story, watching my daughter learn how to ride a bike.
Chloe is seven now. She started riding her bike last year, but she didn’t really get comfortable with it. She wasn’t solid with her skills, and she wasn’t really motivated to practice, so she wasn’t getting better.
So, fast-forward to a few weeks ago when I, not for the first time, I said: “Chloe, let’s ride your bike today.”
That didn’t go over well, but she eventually agreed.
So we went out and I helped her start, ride, and stop, over and over. I was there to assist, provide tips, and keep her from a bad spill, but also to allow her to try, fail, and recover on her own–and start again.
And start again is what she did…again and again. She was getting the hang of it, improving before my eyes, but she wasn’t quite there yet.
Then I got distracted for a moment because Aliyah (my daughter, Chloe’s older and motherly sister) needed my help. A lot of time went by while I worked on Aliyah’s bike. I could hear Aliyah cheering Chloe on: “You got this Chloe! You’re doing great!”
And that’s when I heard that phrase I live for….
“Daddy! I’m DOING it!”
And sure enough, she was. She had started by herself, kept riding by herself (confidently and with skill), and eventually, she stopped by herself, without wobbling or falling. She only stopped because it was time to high five and, of course, dab! Then back to riding she went.
I’m happy for Chloe, of course, and I really enjoyed just being there, in that moment, with her. But watching her also got me thinking–what am I not doing that I could be doing?
For example (not to compare riding a bike to Microsoft!), I’ve been putting off learning all the ins and outs of our Microsoft Office environment. It’s not that I can’t learn it, but it is complicated at times and so I’ve been putting it off, just like my daughter was putting off practicing riding. If she can quit procrastinating and just do it, so can I. And then, just as she will get incredible benefits out of knowing how to ride (exercise, mobility, confidence, fun), I’ll find my work a lot easier and more efficient once I know how to better use one of my company’s own technology platforms.
I just need to do it–like my daughter did.