10 Mistakes to Avoid While Taking Your Kids Outdoors to Teach Cycling
Teaching a child how to ride a bike is one of those rite-of-passage things that parents and children often go through. But many parents also fail to realize that they commit several miscues when teaching their kids to ride a bike.
This article will list down the 10 mistakes you must not make while you take kids outdoor to teach bike riding.
First Read: How to teach your kid to ride a bike?
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Assuming that Kids Can Ride a Bike When They Learn How to Balance. Parents think that when their children learn how to balance themselves on a bike, then their kids can start riding. Sure, developing good balance is fundamental to riding a bike. But it doesn’t stop there.
Once a kid learns how to balance themselves on a bike, he or she must learn how to pedal. The child should also learn how and when to squeeze the brake handle.
And then the child has to learn straight line riding. As you can see, there are a lot of things that children have to learn before they can be allowed to bike on their own.
Ride Bikes with Stabilizers
Another common mistake that you should avoid is letting your child ride a bike with stabilizer. Stabilizers hold the bike in a rigid, upright position.
Although it can prevent your child from falling, a stabilizer won’t teach him how to balance himself on a bike.Moreover, kids won’t learn how to steer when they are riding a bike with stabilizer.
Forcing Young Kids to Ride a Bike
Some parents are also too excited to see their kids ride a bike to the point that they force them to do so, even when the little ones aren’t ready.
Most experts say that five years is the appropriate age for children to learn how to ride a bike. If your child is under that age, then don’t force him or her to bike.
Asking Kids to Bike on Soft Grass
Parents are also notorious for letting their kids bike on soft grass. The idea is that grass can give a softer landing that pavement when the inevitable bike crash happens. However, soft grass is harder to pedal on.
Many experts suggest looking for a smooth and fairly flat tarmac surface. Sure, it won’t provide a soft landing spot for your kid. But it would give your child enough rolling momentum plus lots of space to roam around.
Holding on to the Saddle and Handlebars
Parents are naturally protective of their kids. They don’t want their child to crash while on a bike. So they hold on to the saddle and handlebars of the bike.
But this can interfere with the way the bike leans and responds to the child’s weight. Moreover, you’re not helping the child in learning how to balance his body.
Expecting Kids Will Learn Riding in a Day
Many parents have unreasonable expectations of their kids-- like expecting them to know how to ride a bike in a day or so. But learning how to ride a bike is a long process. You can’t expect your child to learn everything in a day or in a weekend.
Children need to learn how to balance their body while on a bike first. They then have to learn how to pedal; and then how to brake. After that, they need to learn safety techniques like looking over their shoulder and avoiding road hazards, among others.
Not Teaching Them to Wear a Helmet
Most of the time, parents are too concerned with teaching kids how to find their balance and pedal a bike. They overlook the basics of safe bike riding, such as wearing a helmet.
From the very beginning, teach your child the importance of wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet is important for doing any wheeled sport, like biking, skateboarding and rollerblading. Moreover, you should be a good role model by wearing a helmet too when riding a bike.
Not Teaching Kids the Correct Posture
Posture in riding a bike is very important. Parents should teach their kids to sit straight up. Their arms should be slightly bent, and the knees slightly pointed in towards the bike.
Getting a BIke Too Big
Parents usually get their kids a big bike. They think that their kids would eventually ‘grow’ into it. But a bike that’s too big for him will be difficult to maneuver. The same goes for a bike that’s too small for your child.Here’s how you can determine the right size of bike for your child.
Also Read: How to choose the right bike size
Bring him to a store, and then make him stand over a bike you’re interested in. There should be 3 to 5 centimeters space between him and the highest point of the top tube of the bike.
Tiring Out a Child
Children should not get tired when they’re just learning how to ride a bike. Parents thus should limit their kid’s initial learning session to no more than an hour. They should be conscious for obvious signs of fatigue like whining and flagging energy.
Parents usually are too excited to teach their children how to ride a bike. They thus tend to commit mistakes such as the ones mentioned in this article. Make sure you won’t commit any of these mistakes when teaching your little one how to bike.
Biking can let children have fun. It also gives them freedom and independence. As a parent, you likely want your child to learn how to ride a bike as soon as possible.
But don’t let that desire to see him bike get the best of you. Be patient as a teacher and more importantly avoid committing the aforementioned mistakes. Your child will eventually learn how to bike—believe us.