You Can Teach Your Child To Ride A Bike
It can be very exciting when your child is finally ready to graduate from the tricycle to his or her first two-wheeler. Your child may not even notice when this moment arrives, but you will. Young children may ride and enjoy a tricycle even before they learn to walk properly. In doing so, they will learn the principals of steering and pedaling. They can take these foundational skills onward to their next adventure, but most children aren't willing to do that until long after they've mastered the tricycle and all its options.
A proud parent must introduce children to a bicycle as soon as they are skilled enough and strong enough to move a tricycle faster than a walking speed. Without brakes or a strong turning radius, a tricycle is a recipe for disaster at that speed. Even if they are enjoying it, your child must be moved ever forward towards their bike ride experience
Enter the Bike
The component that bicycles add to the skills that tricycles instill is balance. Put the three skills (balance, pedaling, and steering) together and your child is ready to ride. But how do you teach a child the concept of balance while keeping him or her from being hurt or being afraid of getting hurt? There are three main options to choose from here:
Training Wheels-This option has the advantage of being very familiar to your child. Though they now has four wheels instead of two, they can learn to manipulate the bike easily and without fear as long as they keep the speed down. If the child tries to turn at high speed, the training wheels will impede their safety just like a tricycle would.
Assisted Balance-This traditional method consists of running with the child and the bike. It is the fastest and the best option if you do not have a child sized bike available. For the best results, you should hold your child by his or her shoulders while they learn so that they can feel the balance of the bike shifting under them.
Unassisted Balance-If you have a bike that is small enough for your child to use and still comfortably place both feet on the ground then you can turn them loose on it. With proper safety gear and supervision, your child can learn to balance themselves without fear since their feet can touch the ground and stop a fall at any time.
The Rewards of Mastering the Bike
Learning to ride a bike allows your child access to a whole new world of travel and movement. It is also one of those parent-child bonding moments that most of us never forget. To be able to give your child the gift of a new way to explore the world, not to mention a new practical understanding of gravity, is one of the greatest benefits of being a parent. Once you have successfully taught your child to ride their bike you can look forward to many enjoyable family bike rides as well.
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