The Tuesday Question

In the process of conducting adapted bicycle camps across the nation, it seems inevitable that as of the end of the second day, thus usually a Tuesday, an anxious parent, usually a mother, will ask me this question:

“Gee Dr. Klein; I’ve seen so much progress being made by all these children. Some kids are already riding. I can’t believe it. (Note that the question of belief has been raised by the parent – or better yet, the difficulty in believing.) I’ve noticed, however, that my son/daughter (fill in the name _______) isn’t doing as well. Please tell me what we can do after the camp is over to help my child to ride a bike?”

My internal reaction is that if I answer this parent’s question I will end up consuming too much valuable time. When I run bike camps, I focus on the positive, and I spend my time getting kids to ride. I don’t spend my time, especially early on in the camp, holding a parent’s hand and responding to a whole bunch of “what if’s.” In short, I need an answer, and here is my answer. I basically summarize in a few sentences the Sermon on the Mount (See the Book of Matthew). My focus is on Matthew 6:34.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (The Living Bible).

All the worry in the world will not add one iota to your lifespan, and it won’t solve any problems, or get any child to ride a bike any sooner. As our bike camps progress I focus on teaching children to ride, not worrying about who won’t ride and what will I do then? On the Friday of the bike camp, typically the last day, the problems which were so central on Tuesday are either non-problems, as the child is riding, or the problem is reasonably well defined and is manageable using a number of standard techniques. These usually amount to prescribing a few procedures and equipment modifications so that the parent can continue and finish the therapy.

I must note that parents are inevitably relieved when we finish “The Tuesday Question” conversation.

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