When my step-son Robbie was around eight-years-old, my husband and I panicked when he still did not want to learn how to ride a bike.
Was there something wrong with him? Was he going to be made fun of because he didn’t know how?
We watched YouTube videos, read articles and practiced getting him to ditch the training wheels continuously. But it always ended in Robbie crying and storming inside.
He was content going outside in short bursts to ride his little bike with training wheels around before getting bored and running back inside the house.
He had zero interest. We couldn’t understand it. We were just trying to help make sure that his childhood was extra magical.
When we were kids we spent entire days on our bikes playing outside with our friends.
But today, these kids would rather be friends with the voices on the other end of their Xbox headsets than even be seen on a bike.
It turns out, many kids today don’t know how to ride bikes. Because nobody cares about bikes anymore or even being outside in any capacity other than to play organized sports.
According to The Nature Conservancy in a recent article, “Kids These Days,” they found that “heat, lack of access or interest -and even obesity-keep kids inside.” They found that 80% of kids complained that it was uncomfortable being outdoors because of factors like bugs and heat.
So what are they doing?
They are inside, eating snacks, in the air conditioning. They are watching TV, reading books (seriously, ours reads), playing video games, and trolling the internet and social media apps on their cell phones and iPods.
That is another concept I can’t wrap my mind around-cell phones. Why do kids need them if they aren’t going outside or leaving the house? Or driving anywhere?
These days, boys are not poked fun at over not being able to ride a bike. They judge each other over how well they play video games. Or sports.
So if your kid is getting older and not showing interest in riding a bike, or playing outside, just know that there is nothing wrong with your kid. There is something wrong with the world.