Teaching Your Child To Ride A Bike

How to teach a child to ride a bike with as few accidents as possible.

Removing your child's training wheels is one of the earliest steps toward adolescence. Most children are likely to approach the milestone with a lot of bravado and a little fear""fear of falling over. There are a few things you can do to mitigate this fear as you teach your children to ride.

The first step is to put your child on their (training wheels removed) bicycle, take the handlebars, and gentle pull/push them slowly over level ground. Remember, your child is going to be a little scared, so don't make any sudden movements. Also, be very careful. If you do so little as misstep your little one will go tumbling.

Tell your child how to balance. Understanding how to subconsciously lean one's weight one way or the other is critical to teaching him/her to ride a bicycle. Now practice with only one hand on the handle-bars and your other behind the child's seat. Once your child is okay with this step, it's time to proceed. You might also consider holding your child's shoulders instead of the handlebars so he/she learns the feel of the bike and the ability to correct it.

Take your child to the top of a hill (albeit not a steep one) and gently guide them down, first with your hand on the handle-bars and one hand on his/her back, then with one hand behind the seat. Finally, when your he/she gets exhilarated with the ride down, gradually remove your hand from his/her back. It's important to do this at the right time, because if you do it before the child is ready you will face invariable screams and he/she may well have an accident because he/she isn't paying attention to balance. Finally, run just a little behind the bike, ready to grab the kid if something goes wrong. When he/she gets to the bottom of the hill, tell him how he's a big kid now and you're proud of him. With a little more practice, your child will be tearing up the road without your help.

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