Riding into a bright future

CYCLE OF LIFE: Taking part in different activities can teach children persistence and other valuable life lessons.
CYCLE OF LIFE: Taking part in different activities can teach children persistence and other valuable life lessons. Thinkstock

AS A parent I have encouraged my children to be open to the many opportunities that are out there, to take part in different activities and find out what piques their interest so they can develop self-confidence that will stay with them well into their futures.

I have provided them with the chance to try a variety of sporting and creative pursuits so they have the ability to take part in the diverse events they may encounter in the larger world.

I have encouraged my children to be resilient and not give up - to persist in an effort to achieve success. To stick at things even if they don't think they are good enough and at the same time help them realise their capabilities.

I believe it's better to be a jack of all trades - that way in adulthood you can turn your hand to a number of undertakings, meet new people and continue to add strings to your bow.

My eldest has proved the worth of this philosophy.

She moved to the city at the beginning of this year and has become involved in the countless experiences on offer.

Giving her the stepping stones when she was younger has meant she is more capable, self-sufficient, self-motivated and eager to learn new skills and become engaged in a range of things.

A recent experience for child number two also highlighted the positives of this viewpoint.

Giving something a go and not giving up on challenging tasks is the mindset I've wanted for my kids.

During a 55km cycling event my son fell off his bike. I didn't witness the episode but I saw him cross the finish line with mud all over his face and grazes up his legs and arms.

The group from Coast Life Homes he was riding with said he showed great character in getting back on his bike.

It would have been easy to give up but he is passionate about riding and wanted to keep going.

Giving my son the chance to participate in something he enjoys is important to me but it also gave him the opportunity to be with like-minded people.

What he gained from the experience was far beyond the physical exercise. He met a couple of blokes that taught him valuable life lessons.

The boys from Coast Life Homes stopped to see if he was okay (as did a passing motorist) and at the end grabbed my son's contact number. A couple of days later they checked in on him to see how he was doing and offered him a new cycling jersey to replace the one he tore in his impact with the gravel.

To encounter the kindness and thoughtfulness of people is what will encourage my son to take part in future events. He gained so much in the two hours on the road, simply because he got out there and did it.

My role in supporting my children's development may be coming to an end but I think I have given them a solid platform from which to build.

Topics:  character experiences motivation parenting self-confidence

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