Yesterday we celebrated our first ever family bike ride. And by that, I mean that no child needed training wheels or chose to ride a scooter instead. Woo-hoo Anabelle! You learned to ride a bike!
Each child was very different in the learning process. Some children are so self-motivated they do it without a parent’s urging and help, but if your child does not fall into that category, I have some tips:
What’s their main fear? Falling? If so, football pants worked fabulously for one of ours! They occasionally have them on clearance at Wal-mart. Although, be warned — sometimes they work so well that you might have a child who enjoys flinging themselves onto the grass from the bike, as if they’re in some kid-action-thriller movie, proclaiming, “I can’t feel a thing!” Nevertheless, it works. I also recommend starting with the seat too low if they are worried about falling. That way they can easily catch themselves with a foot out.
If your child fears looking ridiculous then the football pants definitely will not work. Instead, I got this great tip from a dad — take the pedals off! The dad took the pedals off and let their child do balancing tricks indoors. Well, we didn’t go indoors with ours, but taking the pedals off and letting the child scoot around the neighborhood (when no one was looking) proved to be very effective in teaching the necessary balance.
Most importantly, have on hand a big bottle of ibuprofen. For you. Not the child. Plan on bending over and helping to push and balance for way longer than you ever anticipated. Ibuprofen before and after each lesson and you’ll be good to go!
Still, if these tips don’t do the job, maybe your child needs a motivational speaker — someone who is on his/her level and is extremely passionate about learning to ride a bike. Like this guy: