Teaching your children how to ride a bicycle is an important rite of passage you both must go through. Not only is it an opportunity to teach them a valuable skill that they can use to be healthy, enjoy with their friends, and have fun, but you also teach them to trust in themselves.
Sometimes the hardest part is letting go.
Usually, parents will teach their children how to ride a bicycle between ages 3-6 years. Before this time period, Zapals sells a variety of feminine, masculine, and gender neutral tricycles, toddler bikes, and baby walkers.
How to pick the right bike
Make sure that you buy a bicycle that is a correct fit for your children. If its too big so they can ‘grow into it’ you risk their lives and their trust in you. The perfect fit is when your child can stand up over the metal or plastic tube with their feet firmly on the ground.
- Teach them how to use the brakes first. “They just need to get into the habit of using both brakes, and it’s important to really get that into their head,” says Chiat. By teaching them how to use the brakes, they will feel more in control and confident that they wont need you because they believe in themselves.
- Drop the saddle of the bicycle and remove the training wheels. “In most cases kids just realise that the bike will stay up when they’re moving because something – a feeling – just kind of clicks into place.” By lowering the saddle to be closer to the level of a scooter, and pushing them without training wheels gives them the encouragement they need.
- “Every time you ask them to stop, walk back a little bit so they think they’ve gone a little bit further than they have, just to encourage them,” Chiat explains. “Most importantly it’s just about being really positive.” Encourage you child. Don’t yell, don’t nag, don’t put them down. Allow them to trust in their instincts and in their own self-worth that they should learn for themselves not you.
Last but not least, don’t forget their helmet!