How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike

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How to teach a child to ride a bike

For children, learning how to ride a bike with the assistance of parents or adults is like acquiring a lifelong skill. In this article, we will explain to you in a step by step process how to teach a child to ride a bike.

As we said this bike riding training is a step by the process, we have divided the entire process into several steps. These steps are preparing your child physically and emotionally to ride a bike, teaching him on balance training, guiding them as they pedal and keep the training enjoyable.

First, read these important tips before starting your bike riding training

The first tip is choosing a suitable place for your kids for his bike riding training. In this respect, do not choose a street. It is because street is a busy place where he will not feel secure and comfortable. Instead, choose a park or an empty parking lot.

Second, use a kid bike that let him plant his feet on the ground with ease. To choose an ideal kid bike, look at the wheel size. A bike with 36 to 41 cm is perfect for children whose age is around 5 years. It is because in these bikes when children straddle the seat, they can place their feet on the ground straight. Using a bike during training which is too big or too small will delay their learning process

Third, use an appropriately fitted helmet and a few other safety gears. Choose a toddler helmet that fits properly with your child’s head. It should fit cozily and do not obstruct the view of your child. Besides this helmet, let your kid wear a couple of other useful safety gear like knee pads, elbow pads, and bicycling gloves. These safety gear will protect your child from scraping and bruising.

Fourth, keep your patience  and do not force your child to learn quickly

Imparting balance training

Balance training is the most important part of bike riding training. So, we have divided this part into several other steps. These steps are

Place your kid on the bike seat correctly:

Let your kid sit on the bike’s saddle so their legs are straight when their feet are flat on the ground.

1. Support your kid while he is on the bike’s seat

Put your hands on your kid’s shoulder, back, and neck and hold them lightly. Your task is to make him steady on the bike rather than holding him on the bike’s seat in an upright position or pushing him forward.

2. Let him  get away with your little assistance

Tell him to use both feet to propel himself forward. At first, he will feel quite imbalanced and will be very shaky. So, assist him gently to keep his balance while he is gliding. Let him manage the handlebars so that he used to control them while moving.

Catch him if he appears to fall and guide him to go forward instead of holding him upright

Instruct him to look ahead instead of down. It is because one common tendency of beginner riders is they tend to look down at their front wheel and handlebars

While you are training your kid and another person is around you, request him to stand him several feet or meters ahead of the bike while your kid coasts forward. Instruct the child to look at that person.

3. Guide your kid while he is pedaling

Before starting to ride, teach him the correct ready stance. If your kid is right-handed, position the right paddle slightly above and forward. Tell him to place his right foot on the forward pedal and push on it gently. Tell him to control the handlebars and look forward. Let him do all of these things that are placing foot on the pedal and pushing gently forward and refrain yourself from intervening in any of these things.

4. Lessen your involvement

When your kid starts to ride, in the beginning, it will be short-lived. He will stop his bike frequently. But keep patience. When he gets his confidence over his balance, he will be able to maintain a continuous forward motion. At this stage, you can let him ride more freely but stay close to him. Walking or jogging alongside him while he is riding. And like before, catch him if it appears he is losing control over the bike and falling to the ground. Teach him how to stop using hand brakes.

Stay beside him until you feel he is riding the bike with much ease.

5. Accept that your kid will fall for a few times

Learning to ride a bike without falling a couple of times is impossible. So be comfortable with this truth.  However, if your kid wears a helmet along with other protective gear and rides on a flat surface, chances of sustaining injuries are minimal.

From your part, check your kid if he falls but does not make the incident too serious. Do not console him emotionally. Let him know that he will ok pretty soon and falling is an inevitable incident when someone is learning to ride a bike.

6. Make the training great fun

One common tendency of children is they learn something with rapt attention and quickly if it appears to be an interesting thing. The bike training is no exception. One good evidence is some children learn bike riding in just an hour of training if the bike riding lesson session appears too interesting to them. On the other hand, if the training turns too boring, they took several sessions to learn bike riding technique.

7. Do not set any deadline

Do not set any fake deadlines. Tell your kid that he can learn the bike riding technique at his own pace. The bottom line does not exert any pressure on him. Pressuring him will turn into counterproductive resulting in a delay in the learning process. And of course, never chide him. Instead, encourage him to use inspiring words.

8. Experiment the training session with another person

It is because some kids learn bike riding techniques quickly from a person other than his mom or dad.

Conclusion

Bike riding is a great outdoor activity. Every kid loves the activity. As a parent, teaching them how to ride a bike requires only your patience and interest.

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My childhood memories are surrounded by dynamic, loving parents from whom I got my nurturing being and love of children. My passion and affection for taking care of babies began at a young age, and I fulfilled my dream of becoming a pediatric nurse. Over my career, I have assisted hundreds of families and babies, and with that inspiration, I started writing to share my experiences and baby care tips. From my own life experience, I have a deep understanding and a profound empathy and compassion for parents. I emphasize on newborn care at my blog. I help my readers to understand how to effectively set up a routine that fits the family's lifestyle, how to respond to the baby's needs, establish healthy sleep habits, and know about the extra care that a newborn requires, like diaper rashes, umbilical cord stump care, circumcision care, reflux, colic, swaddling, and soothing techniques. I am a mother of twin girls, in their 20's, which has been an invaluable experience for my life's work with children. I live in Virginia with my husband and daughters.

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