Teaching Your Child To Ride A Bike

Here is some advice to make teaching your child to ride a bike a fun experience for everyone.

One of the fun parts of parenting is to see your child grow and learn. Everybody remembers how to ride a bike but sometimes we forget how we learned. This can make teaching your child a frustrating experience if you "just know" and they weren't born on a bicycle. Here are some key points to keep in mind when teaching your child to ride a bike.

Does your child have balance and coordination?

Balance comes to us at different ages. Therefore, there is not a set age for learning to ride a bicycle. Watch your child through out the day to get a feel for how balanced they are. If your child has a hard time sitting in a chair without falling, maybe you should wait a little longer. Coordination is another skill that they are going to need. They are going to have to pedal, balance, steer, and brake while riding. It is very important that they have the ability to coordinate; otherwise they could end up hurt.

Training wheels vs. two-wheeler

Training wheels are something to consider if your child is still learning balance and coordination. Using training wheels slows down the whole process of learning to balance while riding which children who are unsure of themselves on the bicycle may need. This also allows the child to focus on coordination without worrying about falling over. Let's make sure we understand how to use training wheels. First, all those times you thought the training wheels were on loose because the bike was wobbly. That was the correct way to attach training wheels. There should always be a little tilt from one wheel to the other. This allows the back wheel to maintain traction, which is very important for breaking. The other thing to remember is that in order for training wheels to work and teach your child balance. The wheels need to be readjusted so that they are tilted a little higher off the ground each time the child is comfortable at the previous level. The tilt makes the child learn to balance.

For those children that are daring and like to go fast, training wheels can be dangerous. The faster the bicycle is traveling the harder it is to turn. The training wheels take away some of the bikes agility. If your child is ready to take off riding the best bet is to let them learn on a two-wheeler. Usually it only takes a few times of running with one hand on the back of the seat while the child is pedaling. If your child is repeatedly falling every time you let go of the seat. Then you should try holding onto the child's shoulders as they ride. This will allow them to feel when they are tipping from one side to the other. Holding onto the bike allows you more control when your child looses his/her balance. Holding onto their shoulder gives them more control to correct their imbalance. Either way of helping your child to ride a two-wheeler can be hard for the parent since you are the one running along side the pedaling child. There are products that do help parents hold onto the bike or the child. Which more information on the products can be found on some children's outdoor toy pages.

Don't forget safety!

Always make sure your child is wearing a helmet. The best way for a child to get used to wearing a helmet is to create a habit. This can be done as soon as the child starts on their tricycle. Another point to remember is to find a level place to teach your child to ride. Hills maybe fun but they are not an easy way to teach your child to learn to ride a bike. Just remember everyone learns at their own pace, be patient.

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