Teaching their children to ride bikes is a very emotional experience for many parents. Many dads put this rite of passage in high regard, probably higher than their child’s first steps. It is an indication your child is growing up.
Riding a bike is fun, but the process of learning is full of hitches from falling and getting their hands and knees scraped. Your child may express anxiety when you mention learning about bike riding.
Here are the best ways to help your child overcome their fears and proudly watch them ride around the neighborhood.
Include Your Child in the Purchase Process
There are several brands of bikes your kid can ride, so be careful when making your selection. Take your child along, and let them contribute to the color. You can also ask them if they want a basket or how they would like their honk to sound.
Involving them in the buying process will make them excited to learn. It will also help them familiarize themselves with the bicycle, ensuring they are calm when the lessons begin.
If you purchase a bike that needs assembling, you can ask your child to be your assistant. As you build, familiarize your child with different bike parts and how they are used.
Acknowledge that Learning to Ride a Bike is not an easy process
If your child is experiencing jitters, reassure them but don’t lie. Most parents often underestimate the determination and effort learning to ride a bike takes. You will often hear phrases like, ‘it’s not complicated. The truth is your child is most likely to identify with you once you acknowledge that their fears are valid and can be overcome. Though considered unnecessary, this moment may be one of the most defining moments for your child and will most likely determine how your child relates to you in the future.
Teach Them about Different Protection Gear
Teaching your child how to put on protective gear and how they are supposed to protect your child might be the very injection of bravery they need. Imagine if you were told that wearing specific clothes would prevent you from getting burnt in a fire! You would feel like Superman, wouldn’t you? The same psychology is used with kids and their protection gears.
Protection gear such as elbow, knee pads, and helmets may assure your child’s safety and give you peace of mind. Most parents are equally as anxious as their kids, which may not be helpful to your kid.
Include Training Wheels
Training wheels, also known as side wheels, are a great place to start your child off. They are usually attached to the rear wheel. They offer more balance when riding a bike, minimizing your child’s chances of falling.
The training wheels will boost your child’s confidence and prepare them for the time you will remove the training wheels. Before entirely doing so, however, you will need to occasionally remove the training wheels and teach your child to balance between the two wheels. Once you are sure they got the hang of it, you can fully discard the side wheels.
Set the Right Mood before Cycling Lessons Begin
Ensure your child is well fed and in a good mood. Also, choose an ideal place to teach them. This may include going to the park or on your home’s sidewalks. Such factors significantly determine how your child will take the cycling lessons.
Try teaching them in a place with few passers-by as they may get embarrassed when they fall off the bikes with the neighbors’ kids watching.
Enroll Your Kids in a Cycling Beginners Class
Most parents may find this truth hard to swallow, but remember that your child is the main priority. It especially applies to helicopter parents as well as overachieving parents. Research shows that many children can perform better in anything without their parents hovering around them and talking over them.
Children can enroll in cycling classes and learn together with their peers. The feeling of not being alone in this may promote the ability to learn faster.
If you cannot afford the lessons, approach their favorite aunt or uncle to teach them. They might be just needing a break from you.
Promise Your Child a Treat Afterward
Do you want to stimulate your child’s brain? Mention ice cream or candy after the cycling lessons. They will cheerfully do anything you’d like them to. They are usually more determined than usual to get things done and get that treat.
Please do not use this as a manipulation whenever they get it wrong. Also, do not put yourself in a position where you can not deliver what you promised.
A simple, ‘you can do this can work wonders. Your child is more likely to respond to positive affirmations from parents than when you yell at them. Do you remember how your parents encouraged you in situations you thought were impossible? Same case for kids learning to ride a bicycle for the first time. It shows them that you are not against them. It is a great feeling to know that someone is backing you up.
Ride Together with Them
Let your bike out of the basement and start pedaling around your child. Show them a few tricks you might have learned from your parents or friends and tell them hilarious stories about your bike riding affairs. It will give them excitement and jitters to want to do what you do. Once they start getting the hang of it, it will be fun going for bike rides together and making memories as you explore new areas.
As a parent, your child may only need your reassurance that they can do anything once they are determined. It is always important to recognize your child’s effort even though they keep falling.
Remember, don’t compare a child’s performance with that of his friends or siblings. Allow them to take as much time as they need. If he doesn’t feel like practicing his bike riding skills today, don’t force him to. Do not forget slow but steady wins the race.