My son inherited his mother's perfectionistic tendencies. When he is unable to accomplish something, he gets frustrated easily and concludes he is horrible at the task and will never be able to do it. He gets angry and cries.
Today we tackled the bike again. Before the snow fell last fall, he was able to go short distances as long as I got him started. That's how it began this afternoon.
By the time we got to the next-door neighbor's driveway, he had already fallen once. By the time we got around the corner, I threatened to take him home if he was going to cry every time the bike went off the sidewalk and into the grass.
Little by little, with encouragement, and letting him pick himself up and start over a hundred times, he started to get the hang of it. After cruising around the basketball court at the elementary school for awhile, he was completely confident in his ability to start, stop, and steer in the direction he wanted to go. In fact, he was ready to get a bike lock so he could ride his bike to the bus stop the next school day.
Nothing is more satisfying than mastering a task. I've found that whatever I try, even if it's totally new to me, with repetition and perseverance, I get better at it. I haven't been able to convince my son of this truth with my words, but I have a feeling he's starting to get it.
Don't give up. Everything seems hard at first. You may fall a hundred times, but the hundred and first, you may just get it right.