My six year old recently requested that his nickname be changed from Trout to Bike.
While he still enjoys fishing and playing ball and all that, Bike has found his first love. And I'm good with it. More than good. Bike is gaining some initial confidence. He's motivated to get after his book-learnin' so he can go ride. He's building body awareness and multi-joint coordination that surely transfers to other playlists.
He's learning his limits too. Bike has a pretty good handle on what he should try and what he'll leave for the Youtube "fail" videos. This isn't due to some kind of stellar genius. I think it comes from the process of risk analysis that forms naturally when little ones know that they are allowed to try things without constantly being hovered over.
The concept of relative risk deserves a revisit. Sure, I worry about Bike getting wrapped up and breaking an elbow or ankle. I understand the tears and misery and other costs of the ER. But what of the risk of him living in fear or rebelling because we failed to let him try, and learn his own lessons? What about the fact that we drive our children everywhere? Like, at great speeds in giant metal(ish) machines? We stare down a far bigger, uglier risk on a daily basis, and say "bring it."
Somehow driving is acceptable, while allowing our kids to bike and play football and lift weights is questioned.
I still think that the biggest risk is couch-TV syndrome. And putting our sons and daughters into a batters box for a showdown with a flighty, uncoordinated, but strong for his age 12-year old on the mound.
Development. Confidence. Performance. Lessons in baseball. Injury rehab.
This whole entry is kind of how I make a living.
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