092: How NOT to Teach Your Young Child to Ride A Bike

Today, summer camp is all about the joys of bike riding!cyclists-885609_1920

Have you tried to teach your child how to ride a bike, only to abandon the effort after she expresses fear and has many falls? Are you unable to get him off the training wheels?

We screwed up in trying to teach our first born how to ride a bike; by the second kid, we had figured it out.

Learn from our family experience – go to weturnedoutokay.com/092 to read about the two things you absolutely should never do when teaching your child how to ride a bike!

Here’s how NOT to teach the fine art of biking:
1) use training wheels; if I can go back and make one change, I would remove the training wheels from Max’s bike when he was learning to ride. Next, I would remove the pedals because bike riding initially is all about balance. The pedals just get in the way!

Instead of using training wheels, take the pedals completely off the bike, or consider getting a balance bike which has no pedals at all. This is how our Jay learned to ride: guess which child can ride bikes and loves them?

2) make learning bike-riding fraught and full of worry about falling; when we tried teaching Max to ride he really caught our worried vibe.

Instead, be sure that biking is low-key, and fun!
Remember that it’s expected there will be falls (in our home we called them “yard sales,” a reference to skiing where, when you have a really epic fall, you lose skis poles gloves etc.) If you make a big deal about the falls and the falling, as we did with our first, you might end up with a kid who is afraid to lose his or her balance when learning to ride a bike.
Keep it fun, light, stop when your child needs to stop.

If you can NOT make the same mistakes we made, before long you’ll find yourself biking around alongside your child. It is an awesome feeling!