Although my daughter has excellent social skills (as evidenced by her innate need to talk to strangers and share intimate details of our lives with them), her physical skills are not as well developed. She was a late walker (14 1/2 months) and is still hesitant about trying new things if it means pushing herself physically in any way. She will not:
  • Ride a bike (with or without training wheels)
  • Ride a scooter
  • Roller skate
She owns all three items, of course. Ah, that was money well spent. Basically, if wheels are involved, she wants no part of it. It does not bother her that many of her friends can ride a two-wheeler with no training wheels. And ride a scooter. And roller skate. She simply does not want to try anything that might possibly result in a scrape or a scratch. I've told her that every kid falls off her bike at some point. I divulged that I fell off my bike when I was a kid, but I decided not to tell her that I broke my arm while roller skating when I was five.

The kid lost her first tooth last summer. There was a bit of blood and she was mildly traumatized but seemed to get over it in time. The tooth next to that tooth is so loose that it's hanging by a thread. She refuses to pull it. I have become obsessed with this tooth and her failure to pull it out. I've even thought of sneaking into her room while she is sleeping, looping some dental floss around that bad boy, and yanking it out myself. She is afraid of the blood and the twinge of discomfort she'll feel as the tooth leaves the spot it has held for over six years.

Her dentist said that when a tooth is loose, it's a good idea to pull it because the adult tooth is trying to come in and you don't want to impede its progress. My daughter does not give a rat's ass about any of this. Honestly, I don't know how she can stand leaving it in there. It must feel awfully strange every time she bites into something. I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, if I had a tooth that was even vaguely loose, I pulled it out immediately. I mean, there's money in them thar choppers.

I have no idea why she is so fearful about anything and everything related to her body. I can't help but think we either caused the fear or unwittingly reinforced it at some point. So, what's a mom to do? Do I push her to ride a bike, roller skate, pull her tooth (in hopes that once she does it, she'll realize that the act did not immediately result in her death) or just let her do it in her own time? And if I go with Plan B (the leave her be plan), will her college roommate notice the training wheels on A's bike?


aliciajill said…
My husband the avid cyclist would certainly disagree with me; but I say on all accounts: let her do her thing her way. Keep offering the option of bike rides to the park or afternoons at the skating rink, make sure she sees you doing it and talking about it, gently point out how much fun the other kids are having riding their scooters, but don't push too hard. She is still only 6, she will come around. The tooth would drive me batty.
Anonymous said…
My son is 6 as well and I decided we were going to make him try baseball. It might not end up being his thing, but if I left it to him he would never do anything! I say give a little push but then be there to pick up the pieces and help them through! I realized the more I want my son to do something the less likely he is to do it. The other thing that works sometimes is to act like I dont care about that particular thing I want him to do. That usually brings him around!
Anonymous said…
I agree with aliciajill, she'll get to things in her own time. Sometimes I think when we push stuff it just draws more attention to it, and it makes it a bigger issue than it needs to be. If she does things when she is ready, there will probably be a shorter learning curve anyway. As to the tooth, I wish I could relate. E. hasn't lost a tooth yet. There aren't any even looking like they want to leave. :) I guess I would just keep feeding her hard things, apples, carrots, etc. until it gets knocked out.
My son has the same problem. I guess its just normal. We should be worrying when kids go all daredevil.

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