The unicycle is kind of the universal symbol for independence, isn’t it? Whenever I think about what skills I’d like my kids to be doing on their own, I think about the unicycle. You’ve got to be ready for a unicycle and you’ve got to want it.
Kids already want to be independent at a very young age. “No, I do it,” they say as early as 1-year-old. The trick is to identify which skill you want them to be independently doing right now. This takes knowing a bit about child development, but a simple chart can help you. You’ll want to choose a skill that doesn’t conflict with where your child is developmentally.
Click here to download your FREE UNICYCLE SKILLS CHART.
Here’s an example: I want my 9-year-old to stop being so fearful of everything. She won’t even ask the waitress for our bill. I could force this issue right now and tell her she’s got to start doing more things like this, but a quick check of a developmental chart tells me that 8 to 10 year olds have a lot of fears. By 11, she’ll probably outgrow them, so why choose that skill now? Instead I’m going to use the fact that at 9, she has developed cause and effect thinking to get her to make her bed and clean up her dishes. That’s something she can really master at 9-years-old. She can be a bed-making, dish-doing Unicyclist.
A unicyclist is a person with a drive to master complex skills independently. A person must experience unicycling alone which makes its mastery a confidence builder.
Riding a unicycle will require trust, patience, and support. You must be willing to develop these three characteristics. But beware, riding a unicycle will not seem normal to your child. She will tell you it isn’t necessary. She will say she never had to do it alone before, but you will show her that choosing to be a unicyclist is worth it.