5 Rules to Follow to Become an Encouraging Biking Teacher
Are you getting the results you’ve imagined, or are you getting frustrated with the slow pace of learning? This article will teach you how to be an encouragement and not a professional angry teacher to your child.
If you are to teach your child how to ride a bike, here’s one thing you should remember—don’t stress while teaching, have fun and make memories for your kids.
Teaching a child how to balance his body on a bike, pedaling, looking at the road ahead and then stopping when needed can be very overwhelming for your child.
He’s likely to get stressed out so when he can see you getting frustrated because he can’t maintain his balance on a bike. And don’t expect him to maintain his focus when you raise your voice at him.
This goes to show how important it is to keep your calm when teaching your child how to ride a bike. You should have a lot of patience in teaching, because riding a biking is no easy task for a child.
In fact, there are adults who never learned how to ride a bike—proof that this activity isn’t that easy as it seems. Here are some tips to remember when you are teaching your child to ride a bike:
Do you remember how long did it take for you to learn how to bike when you were young? You may have been a fast learner, taking a few days to learn how to ride a bike.
But that should not give you the false expectation that your kid can learn the skill as quickly as you did. In fact, most bike experts say the median time for a child to learn biking is 3 to 4 weeks.
Thus, you must not expect your child to be able to ride a bike in less than a week. Give him a few weeks or so to learn and practice balancing, pedaling, and braking.
If the lessons have become stressful to him, don’t force the issue. Take some time off, and then give it another shot.
Set the Scene
Don’t scare your child by having him practice on neighborhood streets or narrow sidewalks. Find a safe, open place like a paved playground or a flat, well-trimmed field.
By finding a good place for him to practice, you’re helping your child become at ease. The more relaxed he is, the faster he’ll learn the lessons.
Make the Training Fun
You’ve heard the familiar line that learning should be fun. Kids, in particular, learn faster if they’re enjoying an activity. Your kid will be able to assimilate your lessons if he’s enjoying the sessions, simply put it.
There are many ways for you to make bike ride training fun. You might want to bring in his siblings, cousins, and friends during training. This may make him look forward to riding the bike. The encouragement that he can get from his friends can go a long way towards him perfecting the skill.
You can also give him a helmet of his choice. You might want to buy a helmet that has his favorite cartoon character as a design, or a helmet of his favorite color. Or you can get him a new pair of shoes for his bike training session. Or maybe a new shirt?
For most kids, being able to ride a bike is a reward by itself. Yet you might want to give him a reward after every bike training session. A trip to his favorite ice cream parlor, for example, can be a good incentive after an afternoon of training.
The point is, your child should look forward to his bike training—and not shy away from it.
Taking Photos and Videos
You should also make your child’s bike training memorable by taking photos and videos. This will give your child the impression that what he’s trying to learn is a very important milestone.
Ask your spouse to use your smartphone in taking photos of your child riding the bike. You may also ask your partner to switch to video mode and capture a clip of your child trying to pedal the bike.
Of course, you should be ready to assist your little one particularly in preventing him from falling down to the ground.
Don’t Overreact When He Falls Down
Finally, don’t scream at the top of your lungs if and when he falls on the bike. Relax—he’s not the first one to do so. In fact, many bike experts suggest that the best way for kids to learn how to ride a bike is for them to fall first. It may sound a bit cruel, but it’s partly true.
Bike crashes can teach your child a lesson or two that he has to practice the next time to avoid getting into an accident again.
Teaching a child how to ride a bike isn’t that easy as it seems. Children have to multi-task when they are on a bike. Aside from learning how to balance their body, they’ll have to learn how to pedal and brake.
It is thus unreasonable to expect your child to learn how to ride a bike in a few days, or even a week. Give him 3 to 4 weeks to master the skill. If he can’t still get it, don’t force the issue. Let him have enough time to get over his fear of bikes, and build his confidence.
Why You Shouldn't Lie
You may even resort to lying to your children just so they feel more confident riding their bikes. Lying for any reason and in any form is never a good idea… even when it comes to teaching kids to learn how to ride a bike.
For example, if the method you use to teach your child is the hold-the-back-of-the-seat, then it’s never a good idea to tell him or her that you’re still holding on to the seat when you’ve already let go.
Doing this will cause your child to lose trust in you. It can even be more traumatic if they end up falling off the bike or losing their balance. When this happens, there’s a good chance they will refuse to train again.
What you should do instead is to inform your child that you plan to let go of your hold when he or she already appears stable on the bike. Other instances where you might be tempted to lie to your children in relation to biking are:
Riding a Bike Is Easy
Some kids may learn biking quickly but it’s not true for all children. If you tell your child that it’s easy, they will end up getting frustrated if they don’t succeed in the first few tries.
Remember that even adults have a hard time learning how to ride a bike. If you give them the idea that it doesn’t require a lot of work, they might just give up quickly.
They Won’t Crash
Here’s the truth: there’s never a guarantee that the learning process will be crash-free. Heck, even professionals crash from time to time. So never give your kids the idea that they won’t crash because there’s a very good chance that they will.
I know that you’re worried they might be too scared to try if you tell them they’ll crash. But what you can do is to make sure they have all the necessary protective gear so they don’t get scratches or injuries if they crash.
The last thing you want to be to your child who’s learning to ride a bike is the angry teacher who’s always nagging him. Instead, be a calm and patient teacher to your child so he can learn biking fast.
No one ever said that learning to ride a bike is easy pickings for a child. Just like everyone, your child would suffer from falls if and when he decides to train. And you’ll have to remind him the same lessons over and over again.
So you need to be very patient with your child. Provide him encouragement, and not be the professional, angry teacher that can impede his progression. When you do these things, you can expect positive results to come around quickly.