7 tips on How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels
One of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a parent is teaching your child a new skill, but it can also be frustrating. Learning to ride a bike is no exception. Every new milestone your child achieves is rewarding not only for them but also for you.
While most parents prefer to use training wheels, teaching your child to ride a bike without them is the most efficient and effective way for them to learn.
We recognize that falling can be dangerous, but guess what? A child's life is littered with tumbles. Before taking the first step with your child, you must overcome your fears and embrace the learning process. Keep in mind that if you're scared, your child will be as well. You can make make sure they're well protected by having them wear the proper safety gear.
To help you feel more at ease, here are a few tips and tricks on how to teach your kid to ride a bike without training wheels. Let's get started.
#1. Make Sure Your Child Has Interest in Learning How to Cycle
One thing most parents get wrong is trying to impose our own wishes onto our children. Keep in mind that your child is not an extension of you and they should have free will to engage in activities they're interested in. While cycling can be fun, it's not for everyone.
For instance, if your child has no interest in riding a bike, forcing them to do it will only frustrate both of you. Instead, introduce the idea and wait for your child to show interest. Kids are more eager to learn when they already have an interest in the subject or skill.
Granted, learning how to ride a bike seems scary, even for adults — but if your child already has an interest, it won't seem as scary for them.
#2. Choose the Right Bike for Your Child
The wrong bike size creates a sense of intimidation which only serves to frighten the child even more. The average age where kids learn to ride a bike is between 3-7 years. At this age, children already have a developed sense of fight or flight.
While it's easier to buy a bigger bike that your child can grow into, it would be counterproductive to use it for training. It's better to start with a smaller size, (depending on your child's body size) then buy them something else once they're a pro.
Whatever you choose, make sure that your child's feet can easily touch the ground— this creates a sense of safety, making them more willing to practice without training wheels.
#3. Choose an Ideal Location for Training
A flat ground is good enough, but a slightly sloped terrain is even better. Make sure there are no obstacles and, most importantly, no moving vehicles around. When choosing an ideal location, go for a place where no one will see them fall just to avoid embarrassment.
At that age, a child's worst fear is being embarrassed in front of their peers. Embarrassment can affect your child's confidence and discourage them from wanting to learn how to cycle.
#4. Teach your Child How to Use Brakes
Safety comes first when teaching your kid how to ride a bike. Your child should be able to stop the bike in the event of an emergency. Teach your youngster to apply the brakes gradually and steadily, without making any sudden movements. They can easily stop the bike, step on the ground, and exit if they are scared.
#5. Practice How to Balance
They say you have to learn to walk before you can run. Well, when it comes to cycling, you have to learn to balance before you can pedal. The biggest challenge with learning how to ride a bike without training wheels is balance.
Training wheels serve as a pivot and that's why children who cycle with them can't really claim to know how to ride a bike. That said, let your child ride freely, without pedaling, so they can learn how to balance while on the bike.
If you're alone, make sure your child rides towards you so you can catch them— or better yet, run alongside them as they cycle.
#6. Start Pedaling and Take it Slow — Baby Steps
Every new skill comes with a learning curve. Once your child can balance, let them try pedaling while still maintaining their balance. Teach one thing at a time and keep your calm even when your child gets it wrong.
In addition, it's important to take breaks. Learning is a process and it does take time.
#7. A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way
While some kids learn faster than others, do not be the pushy parent who wants their child to learn at someone else's pace. Even if your child falls 10 times, stay positive and offer words of encouragement.
Your support means a lot to your child and it just might be what they need to get it right the second, third, or the 100th time. The key is to get your child excited enough to want to keep trying even when they keep falling.
A Comfortable Bike Makes all the Difference
Being on a bike saddle is not the most comfortable place to sit on, but with a memory foam saddle, your child will be comfortable and want to train for longer.
At Bikeroo we provide high quality bike saddles and seat covers to ensure all cyclers are comfortable. Whether you're an avid cyclist or exercise on a stationary bike, our padded saddles may just be what you need to put in extra time on your cycling routine. Shop with us today to find the right saddle for your bike.