Training Wheels

My son, who just turned 5 years old, recently taught me a valuable lesson.

Like most young people my boy was itching to take the training wheels off his bicycle.

We had told him that Daddy would take the training wheels off this weekend so he could learn how to ride on two wheels.

Well, apparently, that wasn’t sufficient for him so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Where’s the wrench?

Specifically, he went into my tool box, found the right size wrench, took the training wheels off his bike by himself, and then commenced to teach himself how to ride on two wheels in our back yard.

We knew he was messing around with some tools and his bike but had no idea he was literally teaching himself to ride on two wheels with no one helping him!

When I finally learned what he was doing I felt bad.  I felt like I wasn’t fast enough or that I wasn’t there for him.  But then I realized how happy I was that it happened the way it did. 

Problem Solving

You see, he knew exactly what he wanted and he decided to make it happen on his own.

The best part of all is he’s learning to solve his own problems.  He’s not waiting for people to hand him things on a platter.  I fully expect him to become an entrepreneur like his Dad but even if he doesn’t I’m confident he’ll be an amazing problem solver for anyone that employs him.

What about us?

How many times do we grown-ups know what we want to do yet, for some reason, wait for someone to help us or show us the way?

How many times do we continuous improvement practitioners moan and groan about the lack of management support when, in actuality, even though they may not care they won’t stop you from making things better?

So, while it’s a child like analogy (training wheels) the way my son approached one of the biggest challenges of his young life definitely reminded me of how important facing the unknown with relentless determination is.

Do you agree?

9 Comments

  1. Patrick Swartz

    August 30, 2011 - 9:11 pm

    Bravo to your son and I most definitely agree with your synopsis. There is so much to learn from our children.

    • Ron Pereira

      August 31, 2011 - 8:00 am

      Indeed, Patrick. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Mark H. Davis

    August 31, 2011 - 6:57 am

    Hey Ron, give yourself some credit, too — I’m sure the reason he was able to find your wrench was because of your 5S workshop!

    • Ron Pereira

      August 31, 2011 - 7:27 am

      Ha! Yes, good point Mark. Problem is… as you can see in the picture I still have some work to do in order to get him to put things back! 😉

  3. Sid Wegener

    August 31, 2011 - 7:58 am

    This is great, Ron. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ron Pereira

      August 31, 2011 - 8:00 am

      You’re very welcome, Sid.

  4. Kamal Jain

    September 25, 2011 - 7:13 am

    This is awesome! Thank you for posting it, and thank you to your son for demonstrating what in innate in most people, especially kids: Curiosity and problem solving.

  5. Anonymous

    November 4, 2011 - 3:54 am

    Quote “When I finally learned what he was doing I felt bad. I felt like I wasn’t fast enough or that I wasn’t there for him.” Unquote

    The learning are:
    (a) until the support is withdrawn, one does not know one can stand on one’s legs
    (b). If you are testing it for one’s sustainability, use it tactically
    (c0 Strategic competencies always come with a Study scenario, Plan, Do and Celebrate.
    Ha Ha use the SPDC cycle instead;-)

    Priyavrat Thareja
    http://thareja.com

  6. Anonymous

    November 4, 2011 - 3:55 am

    Quote “When I finally learned what he was doing I felt bad. I felt like I wasn’t fast enough or that I wasn’t there for him.” Unquote

    The learning are:
    (a) until the support is withdrawn, one does not know one can stand on one’s legs
    (b). If you are testing it for one’s sustainability, use it tactically
    (c) Strategic competencies always come with a Study scenario, Plan, Do and Celebrate.
    Ha Ha use the SPDC cycle instead;-)

    Priyavrat Thareja
    http://thareja.com