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children, Parenting

Looking for some help here


falling

I was out with my kiddos the other day, when it wasn’t raining, trying again to teach them how to ride a bike.

This has been one of the hardest things that I have ever attempted to do in my life. This, I suppose, means one of two things: I’ve lived a sheltered life or I haven’t attempted very many difficult things. If I had to guess, I would say it’s the latter.

Back to the bike riding, it’s been frustrating to say the least. Both of my girls have their mother’s sense of balance, but neither have her drive to conquer difficult things. Unfortunately, they are both very intelligent, but when faced with something they find difficult, they tend to dismiss it as unimportant or not worth their time.

The part where I struggle to teach them is that I never had training wheels. When my brother and I first got on a bike, we basically rode without problems. It didn’t take us hours, days, or weeks to be taught how to ride.

How do you teach balance?

Training wheels are a dangerous crutch, in my opinion, and I feel that it hinders the rider. I think they need a flat surface and an ability to fall and hurt themselves. Until you take that first spill to the ground and think, ‘Wow that really hurt, I don’t want to do that again,’ I think you are going to be stunted in your pursuit of learning to ride a bike.

If anyone has any full-proof techniques to teach kids how to ride a bike, I am all ears. My 12-year-old is finally learning, but it has been an uphill battle. I don’t want the same for my 6 nearly 7-year-old. It’s frustrating because both of them have been taking dance classes for several years now, so I think their balance should be better.

Again, I welcome any and all suggestions. I never had to struggle with this task, so if anyone did and overcame it, tell me what worked for you.

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About Todd Fuller

After a really long search, I found work that I feel is more relevant to my degree--technical writing. While it's not what I initially envisioned doing, it's actually been very enjoyable and rewarding work. I guess I feel like there is still more out there to do, so I've decided I will try the whole blogging thing again and resurrect this site. If anyone's still out there, enjoy and feel free to comment.

Discussion

One thought on “Looking for some help here

  1. I taught myself, when I was nine. There was a hill behind my house, and the road that run beside the house went right up that hill. I’d push the bike to the top of the hill, and coast down it. (then, hope that the bike’s flaky coaster brake would work, at the bottom)

    Turns out, people are finding that learning to balance before learning to pedal is the better way to learn to ride a bike. Might be the only time in my life, that I’ve been ahead of the curve…. Anyway, one idea is to remove the pedals from the girl’s bike, and lower the seat so that she can comfortably reach the ground. (Remember, left side pedal is reverse threaded!) Then, she can push herself around in “balance bike” mode, until she has a handle on balancing the bike.

    Posted by Greyryder | June 1, 2013, 7:22 pm

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