7 Tips to Teach your Child to Ride a Bike
Learning to ride a bike is one of those moments in every childhood that's worth the effort.
Learning to ride a bike has become more or less a rite of passage for most kids. It builds their confidence, helps them learn better and make more friends.
There are lots of different techniques used to help kids learn to ride a bike. Given, some of these techniques work better than others.
Recently parents have begun to use more natural and better techniques for teaching kids how to cycle.
Here are tips which may help your child cycle independently in no time.
Before anything else, ensure that your little one has all the safety gear they need to stay safe before, during, and after cycling. And be sure that both you and your child are familiar with local safety regulations.
As much as possible, avoid actions like purchasing large helmets that they’ll “grow into” or utilizing a bike that’s too large or bulky for them.
Your child's helmet, shin-pads, elbow pads and other safety equipment should fit perfectly. Then your child will be happy to wear their cycling gear.
Find an area with protection
Most parents opt for a street or a path in the park as the learning ground for cycling. Consider teaching your child on a softer surface that limits their speed and makes falls less sore and reduces the possibility of injury.
You may want to consider teaching your little ones how to cycle on a lawn or grassy surface that is at least 25 meters long with a gentle decline.
Do not make a mistake a lot of parents make when teaching kids how to cycle, do not be overbearing and so stress them out.
Cycling is a tricky activity that may feel strange and dangerous to a lot of kids at the start. Do what you can to keep your child calm, giving them the confidence and space to learn, even when they make mistakes.
Refrain from pressuring your kids to learn too fast, relax and let them get comfortable, allowing them to progress at their speed.
Just like walking, different children will master the skill at different times.
Before children learn to pedal, they need to perfect the art of balancing on a bike, and there are a lot of ways to go about improving balance.
One of the most reliable ways would be by starting with a bike that focuses on helping learn balance, such as kinderfeet balance bikes.
When it comes to maintaining their centre of gravity and balancing on a bike, balance bikes give kids a head start to learn this.
My number four had a balance bike and the transition from his balance bike to a pedal bike was seamless and a natural progression. Confidence is a big part of learning to ride. With increased balance, your child will also increase their confidence and enable them to take bigger strides in mastering their bicycle.
Now that your little one has begun their cycling lessons, it is essential to start teaching proper braking, so they do not get hurt and know how to stop. Effective breaking can be lifesaving. Not only should your child be learning how to break, they should also be given an overview of how their breaks work and how to maintain them.
When a cyclist brakes too hard, too soft or while standing, it can cause them to crash, fall, or slam into the pavement, field or over the handlebars.
While you are helping them how to travel on a bike, teach them how to brake as braking at lower speeds will help them out immensely when then going at higher speeds.
Involve your Child
The most straightforward action you can take to make learning to cycle smoother, more enjoyable, and faster for your little ones is to give them a voice, involve them in the decision-making process.
Ask what they want to practice and where they want to practice, so they feel comfortable from the get-go.
Children will typically learn faster when you address their concerns, answer the questions in the order that they ask and encourage them to ask as many questions as they need. Be sure to provide your instruction at a pace at which your child finds comfortable. Do not avoid or ignore their anxiety, but work through it calmly so that their confidence is increasing - not diminishing.
Don’t Get Frustrated or Defeated
Learning how to cycle should be a fun, bonding experience that brings your family closer together, a lot of the time the process will not be straightforward or go according to plan.
Ensure that you, your child and everyone involved enjoys the process and stays calm even when things do not go according to plan. You will have some failures as a teacher, as will they as the student. It's important to show by your own patience and attitude that these obstacles to learning to ride a bike are obstacles to be tackled and overcome - not things to be avoided.
Once your child is showing some competence and confidence, be sure to involve the rest of the family in the success. Make it something that the whole family can celebrate together and enjoy as they kids grow up together.
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