Teaching your child to ride a bike: 4 tips for parents.
For kids learning to ride a bicycle is one of life's milestones, some kids learn right away, others take a little longer. But it is always a moment of great satisfaction for children and parents alike.
When should you teach your child to ride a bike?
As a matter of fact there is really no right age to learn to ride a bike, because every child develops at his or her own pace: some children develop motor skills earlier than others. So, as we were saying, at around the age of 2 to 3 you may start looking at bikes for your little one. We would advise every kid to start to learn on a balance bike, in other words a bike without pedals, before moving on up to a bike with pedals.
Buying the right bike
The first and most important thing is to get a bike that is the right size for your child. A bike that is too big may make your child feel insecure and spoil all his fun.
There are two ways to teach your child to ride a bike.
The first and most advisable method, is to start with a bike without pedals, so that your little one can one learn how to hold on to the handlebars and explore his correct balance point from day one. Then adjust the saddle so that your child can get both feet on the ground when sitting on the saddle – flat on the floor: in this way your child will learn that he is balancing the bike with his legs, and not the wheels.
Another way to teach your child to ride a bike is to get a bike with pedals right away: you can start with a tricycle or even a mini bike. Remember that in this case safety is important: you will need to get a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads!
This method helps your child to develop his motor skills faster by pedalling, but learning to balance the bike may take a little longer.
Whichever way you choose, the method is the same: initially give your child little pushes on short straight sections of road to set them off but once they start pedalling you can teach them more complex manoeuvres: steering between cones and doing figure 8's.
Enjoy teaching your child to ride a bike!
Things to know? 4 tips for you.
- Be cheerful.
When you’re cheerful you can do anything, or almost. It is very important for your to be calm and cheerful to make your child feel confident and secure.
Don't set any goals or put pressure on your child to learn quickly, his moment of glory will come when he’s ready!
- Learning from mistakes.
Riding a bike is all about balance, so falling off is one of the milestones (keep a first aid kit close on hand with a good supply of band-aids!).
Teach your child that to get where you want, you need to work hard.
- Choose the right time.
Whether you teach your child to ride his bike on a hot summer day or on a mild sunny day in winter, choosing the right time is important. Cancel everything on your agenda and give your child all the time he needs.
The place is just as important: the best choice is outdoors in a quiet place, with no traffic.
- Remember: teach your child step by step!
Teaching your child in steps is the best thing to do: before you push him off to watch him pedalling (or falling off) his bike, explain what he needs to do and how to react, step by step.
To recap, teach your child: to balance, steer, pedal and brake (above all brake!).
Now that you know everything there is to know on how to teach your child to ride, enjoy this moment, camera in hand, to take pictures of this unforgettable moment.