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Helping Preteens Become Independent

Like many people, I remember the first time my dad took the training wheels off my bike. With a mix of fear, excitement, and adrenalin, I started out slowly and wobbly down the street, my dad jogging along beside me. I kept looking over to make sure he was there in case I lost control. He was, and I felt reassured.

As I straightened the wheels out a bit and picked up the pace, however, I suddenly looked over and realized he was not there and promptly fell off my bike. I sat there on the hard sidewalk inspecting my scratches as he ran up to me. He asked me what happened. Why did you stop?

I wailed back, you were not there. Where did you go? He explained to me that I was doing fine, and I did not need him. And then, he did the most important thing. He made me get back up on my bike and try again.

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