How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike without Training Wheels
Learning how to ride a bike is truly a liberating feeling, and your bundle of joy deserves this. For every child, pedalling and cycling without training wheels is a significant milestone. However, teaching kids how to ride a bike without training wheels can be draining. This is especially true because kids are usually scared of falling and parents are even more afraid of hurting kids.
Yet, we’re still motivated to do it because learning to ride a bike not only helps them with healthy physical growth but also instills in them a sense of responsibility.
In the age of iPads and other gaming consoles, this post is vitally important to encourage kids to get outdoors. Learning to ride a bit is a fun place to start. So, in this post we’ll share some tried and tested steps to ease the process! And yes, without training wheels!
Prepping Kids for Riding the Bike
First of all, you cannot force a child to ride without training wheels. So, before we start sharing the details, make sure that your child is ready to take up this challenge. Now, let’s see what you need to do before going on the pavement;
- Make sure the child wears a helmet, and it sits properly on their head (the helmet should be one inch above the eyebrows. In addition to the helmet, wear protective gear, such as gloves, shin guards, and elbow guards.
- Check the bike’s tires and brakes. Properly inflated tires will ensure a safe and smooth ride, and they will be able to coast well. And obviously, brakes will assist them to stop whenever they want.
- Learning a new skill is always stressful for kids, so try to take it easy, allow them to loosen up, and just laugh if your child fails (it’s okay, and you must trust the process)
The Learning Process
1. Walking Without Pedals
- The first step is to take out the pedals and let your child walk the bike while sitting on the seat.
- Now, lower the bike’s seat to make sure the child’s feet touch the ground (they must be flat on the ground). This will help them gain confidence since they will be able to touch the ground.
- Allow your child to walk the bike on the flat surface so they feel in control. Moreover, it gives them get accustomed to the feeling of steering and balancing the bike.
- Show them how the brakes are to be used and have them practice braking while walking along side the bicycle. Teach them that the back brakes should only be used while simultaneously using the back brakes, so that they don’t fall over the handle bars. Use of the back brakes can be used alone but using both front and back brakes together gives more control at higher speeds.
These four steps should be followed until they perfect it. As a result, they will learn complete control over their bike.
2. Coasting On the Bike
- Let your child coast down the slightly declining slopes with their feet up. It will help them get aware of the momentum without making them feel scared. Also, it will teach them how to balance (it’s suggested to find small slopes, for this purpose)
- As a parent, you need to stay at the bottom side of the slope, so your child can see when they ride through the slope. It will help them feel at ease and have a target to ride towards
- When they are riding down the slope, start timing them. It will eventually turn into a game, and they will start riding down faster. Moreover, when they are able to coast on continuously for fifteen seconds, install the pedals.
It’s important to encourage a positive attitude towards the entire leaning process. Speak confidence into your child and tell them they have more than enough ability to be an excellent bike rider. Relay your own positive experience if you can remember it.
3. Riding Bike with Pedals
First of all, install the pedals and teach them that the left pedal tightens with counter-clockwise movement while the right pedal will tighten in the clockwise direction.
- Once the pedals are installed, hold to their side and let them start the bike with pedalling (they learn to pedal quicker as compared to balancing, so hurrah!)
- Lastly, don’t forget to teach them about starting pedalling from the stopped position. For this, let them stand with a foot on the ground and have their opposite foot sit on the pedal at two o’clock point. This positioning will let them push the pedals down and create momentum, helping them gain balance (you might need to teach this a few times before they get the hang of it, so stay calm)
Additional Tips to Ease Bike-Riding Learning Experience
- The biggest mistake is buying a bigger bike, thinking, “my child will grow into it.” That’s because if the bike is too big, they won’t have adequate control over it. Of course, safety is the key concern but you also want to give your child the best experience learning to ride their bike. Consult this kids bike size chart to determine the proper bike according to their age and height.
- Rather than starting them on rough pavement, teach them on the grass patches because the ground will be softer even if they fall. Secondly, choose a place with lesser people, so your munchkin doesn’t get embarrassed (they must feel confident to learn well).
- When they learn a step or get accustomed to some movement, make sure the next step is manageable and nothing too advanced.If your child asks for a break, allow them because learning can be challenging.
- Lastly, don’t forget to keep your calm. It’s fine to get intimidated when kids aren’t able to grasp an idea, but your yelling will only worsen the situation.
The Bottom Line
Riding a bike without training wheels can be scary for your kids, but it’s something they must learn, right? It not only helps them commute on their own, but it brings a sense of self-esteem, confidence, and balance, which is vital for their personality development. So, when are you hitting the road (or may we say a grass patch?)
Ned Anthony Taylor is an editor in chief of Daddy of Steel. A health and fitness Resource portal especially targeted to young dads. Who are kind of lost at the in kids, bills and Netflix. It’s an attempt to encourage them to break this hamster wheel and have more energy, better health and enjoy more quality time with their kids.
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