One of my favorite jobs as a dad is playing with my kids.
It’s something my dad always seemed to have time for and I’m glad to provide the same level of service to my children.
Lincoln (17 mo) loves anything with a ball.
Hailey (4) enjoys gymnastics and dancing (lucky for her I’m an expert in both).
Our six year old, Andrea, has been interested in only one game lately… Riding her bike.
Teaching her how to ride a bike was something we put off for a year.
For her fifth birthday she received a brand new “Rosebud” bicycle.
It came with lovely little training wheels that allowed her to ride safely wherever she went.
She seemed content with the arrangement. She could ride wherever and whenever without the fear of falling.
Then something unfortunate happened.
Andrea realized she was the only kid in the neighborhood her age using training wheels.
The questions started immediately.
“Dad can we take my training wheels off?”
“Will you teach me how to ride?”
After our first session without the training wheels there were lots of bumps, bruises and tears (Andrea was fine, I’m talking about me).
So we regrouped and the next day we went again.
I came to a sad yet important realization during our second day of learning.
Andrea looked up at me in all sincerity and said, “It’s really hard to steer while you’re holding on to me.”
She was right.
What I thought was providing safety and help, had actually become a hindrance a barrier to her growth and development.
As we started again I pushed her along and then she said, “Okay Dad, let go, I got it.”
I was scared, excited and proud all at the same time.
She was riding all by herself.
She didn’t need me holding her upright anymore.
She could do it on her own.
There are times in life when we need to let go.
Past hurts and offenses need to be let go of just as much as past victories and exploits.
Moving forward requires letting go of the old and embracing the new.
For growth and development to take place it’s also important to let go.
We must trust others to lead.
Don’t ride the bike for them, give them the freedom to steer it on their own.
You think you’re providing help and stability, but you’re actually a hindrance and a barrier to their development.
Great leaders (and bike riding teachers) know when to hold on and when to let go.
It’s pretty wonderful to see your kid riding on their own for the first time.
It’s also pretty great raising up leaders who lead and grow on their own.
In total, I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more from Andrea learning to ride a bike than she did.
Are there areas that you’ve become a hindrance more than a help?
Are holding on to tightly to the past?
It may be time to let go.