Helping your child reach the important milestone of riding a bicycle can be an exciting yet terrifying time for parents.
Here are some simple steps to make the learning process a little easier and fun for you and your child.
Checking physical and mental readiness
The child needs to be ready to balance and coordinate, to be able to ride a bicycle. If your child can skip or hop on one foot, ride a scooter and comfortably coordinate turning, steering and stopping it, he/she is probably ready.
Along with physical readiness, it also takes a lot of confidence and motivation to start. Most kids around four years of age are ready, but if they are not don’t push too hard.
Choosing a bicycle
Kid’s bikes are sized by their wheels, make sure he/she should be able to comfortably reach the handle and paddle without scrunching or hitting the handlebar.
Ensure safety first
While it is normal for all kids to fall and get hurt a little, ensuring safety tips can put off serious injuries.
- Helmets – Safety helmets are important to safeguard the brain against any injuries and get them into the habit of always wearing one.
- Right location –Make sure the ground chosen to teach is traffic-free, preferably a playground or an empty parking lot which is large and paved.
- Adult supervision – Accidents can happen anytime, so don’t leave your child unattended.
- Breaking – Teach them how to stop first and practice until they are confident. It’s the most important step for kid’s safety.
Most bicycles for 4-year-olds come with training wheels. Although training wheels make it more likely for a younger child to be able to ride and enjoy cycling, once they are removed the learning sequence usually starts from the beginning.
While there are a number of methods, one of the popular method instructs to –
- First remove pedals and lower the seat so that the feet touch flat on the ground.
- Next, teach how to balance, ride the bicycle without touching feet to the ground and turning before learning to pedal.
- Add the pedal and raise the seat to practice riding until your child is comfortable.
- Start with standstill position and slowly let your child start paddling straight ahead.
- Hold the seat from behind or run beside your child as he/ she slowly learns to ride, turn and become confident enough to go ahead independently.
Some kids need just a day while others might need weeks or months to master the art. Don’t get disheartened and give up. Keep motivating your child and make it fun.