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Mentally Preparing Your Child to Ride Without Training Wheels

Posted by Kaitlin Benz on

Mentally Preparing Your Child to Ride Without Training Wheels

Kaitlin Benz

 

blue-strider-bike-630x680artboard.jpg    Riding a bike is a skill that, once learned, will never be forgotten. Making the transition from a balance bike or a set of training wheels to the truly independent experience of riding may at first be a nerve-wracking time for both the child and the parent. Mentally readying a child for this new step is just as important as physically teaching them the motions. The most important thing to remember in this process is that every child learns differently, and patience will be the most important thing. Pay attention to what works and what does not work, and soon enough your child will be on their own riding alongside you!

    Preparing for their first ride is just as important as them getting on the bike to ride for the first time. You want to first make sure that their bike fits properly and that they aren’t attempting to learn on a bike that they will grow into. This can lead to some tears and frustration, as riding a bike that is too big is significantly more difficult than riding a fitted bike.

    Buying a helmet that fits well is equally as important as buying a bike that fits well. Helmets are life saving, and having one that is too big or too small is not going to do its job nearly as well as one that fits the rider comfortably. Additionally, you may want to consider elbow pads and knee pads depending on the confidence and abilities of the rider.

    You will want to discuss bike safety to your child before they take off down the street on their own. Knowing to stay out of the middle of the street, being aware of their surroundings, and treating fellow cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles with respect are important rules for safety.

    Teaching your child to ride without training wheels is going to begin with them getting a feel for how the bike moves and balances without the training wheels. The first thing they can try to do is coast on the bike, by picking their feet up from the ground and seeing if they can continue to balance while the bike is in motion. Once they can coast, they can start to understand how to stop the bike, either by placing their feet down or by back-pedaling or using hand brakes.

    Once they understand how the bikes stops and goes, they can begin to use the pedals for forward momentum. They may lack confidence at first, feeling wobbly, so you will have to assure them that if they keep pedaling forward, the bike will not fall over. Shortly after, they’ll understand how to stop and go, turn, and pedal all over the place. Soon enough, you will see that once your child feels confident on the bike, they’ll never want to get off!

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