Recently I was having a discussion with someone about parenting. I'm not sure what exactly we were talking about, but somehow the topic of teaching a child to ride a bike came up. Since then, I've given it some more thought and realized that the metaphor of teaching a child to ride a bike is just like parenting. When our children are young, we act as their training wheels. We allow them to do as much as they can, but prop them up when they need it. With our support, they learn the basics without falling. As they get older and are able to ride along fairly well, maybe we take off one training wheel. They still have our support, but are able to do a little more without us. Eventually, both training wheels are removed. The first few rides without the training wheels we run along behind them holding them up so they don't fall. But at some point we, as parents, must let go. We know that our child is probably going to fall. They might scrape a knee or bruise something, but we will be there to help them up. Finally, we let them go. When we let them go, we know that sometimes our children are going to fall. But, we also know that we'll be there encouraging them to pick themselves up and get back on the bike. Not always are we going to fix their scrapes. Sometimes, we will show them the medicine cabinet and let them do it themselves. Some days letting go is harder than others.
I'm so excited to announce that this post was chosen for Favorite Post Friday by 2 Toddlers and Me!!