Selective Daredevil

When we brought home Lily’s new 16 inch wheel princess bike, she was too scared to ride it. She had been riding the 12 inch bike for a couple years and wasn’t used to being “so high up.” Even though the wheels were 4 inches higher than her old bike, her actual seat was MAYBE 1 inch higher on the new bike. The seat of her kitchen chair is probably higher up than this bike seat is.
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It didn’t matter what we told her, she was too scared to ride her new bike, especially over the “bumps” in our neighborhood’s sidewalks. Our neighborhood is on the new side and has almost perfect sidewalks. There are a few deeply settled sidewalk squares that make for a momentary rough ride, but it’s pretty smooth sailing around here compared to what you’d find in an older neighborhood.

We humored her and took her for some bike practice sessions at a tennis court and on a dead end road. Eventually, she got brave enough to ride her bike. With training wheels. She absolutely refuses to try riding without training wheels even though she is almost 6 years old.

We’ll get there.

Anyway, on the same day Lily was too scared to ride her bike, she played in the backyard and jumped off of the slide landing to the ground several times. It’s a good 4 1/2 feet to the ground, but she had no fear jumping off of it even though she was too scared to ride her 16 inch bike because it was “so high up.”

And then this happened.
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I vaguely explained to her one day that you could hang upside down on the trapeze bar. The next day I looked over and she had figured out how to do it herself.

So, she’s too afraid to ride her slightly taller bike with training wheels, but it’s totally ok to jump down from a height that’s far over her head and to hang upside down from a trapeze– both things that could easily hurt her.

I just don’t get it. She’s such a daredevil most of the time. What happens these other times? I guess everyone has to be afraid of something, but some consistency would be nice!

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2 Responses to Selective Daredevil

  1. maybe you should slowly raise the training wheels up a bit so that they dont connect with the ground while the bike is straight up but still provide that extra stability if she tips a bit and doesnt fall. she should be able to develop that balance and feel more confident.

    I’ve seen parents lift the training wheels like half an inch off the ground so that the bike tips a bit but isnt noticeable and then raise it an inch and finally like an inch and a half to 2 inches so that they’re there… but not really being used at all by the child. Eventually the child will feel safe enough to ride on their own.

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