How Do You Teach A Stubborn Child To Ride A Bike?

Learning to ride a bike is the best thing. It teaches kids independence, autonomy, freedom, and the wild enjoyment of nature u all its beauty. But, what do you do if your child simply refuses to learn? How do you teach a stubborn child to ride a bike? Let’s find out!

How Do You Teach A Stubborn Child To Ride A Bike?

Most kids are not actually stubborn, but anxious or nervous about riding a bike. Maybe they had a bad experience, or maybe they are just naturally reticent.

Whatever the reason, we have a few hints and tips to help you and your little one find their love of two wheels:

  • Be positive. You want the bike riding experience to be fun, right? So no yelling at your kid if they don’t get it right first time!
  • Enlist help. Friends, grandparents, neighbours or relatives can help your child to learn to ride a bike, partly because they don’t have the same relationship, and you may find that kids listen a bit more.
  • Make sure the situation is right. Your child needs to be rested and well fed, in order to have the best experience possible.
  • Get the right sized bike. If you are trying to teach your child to ride on a bike that is too big or too small, it won’t be a positive experience for anyone!
  • Ensure they have the right safety gear. Falling off a bike, especially when learning, is pretty much inevitable, but if they are padded up then it will hurt less.
  • Use incentives. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of bribery once in a while! If your child is reluctant, you can use food, toys, favourite games or even a day out, as a reward to help them feel more enthusiastic.

What Is The Best Age To Teach A Child To Ride A Bike?

There is no “right” or “wrong” age to learn to ride a bike – it should be whenever your child is ready and keen to learn.

Many children these days start out with balance bikes, or bikes with stabilisers. These can be enjoyed from the ages of two onwards.

When your child is ready to learn to learn on a “big bike” will be largely dictated by them – though you can add a little encouragement if you are a keen cyclist and want to get them riding out with you.

On average, kids learn to ride bikes between the ages of 3 and 7, but again this will all depend on your individual child. Don’t feel like you’re being a bad parent if yours is a little later than that!

Teaching a child to do anything is much easier if they are keen to learn, so make sure your child really wants to do it, otherwise you may be wasting your time.

How Do You Learn To Ride A Bike In 5 Minutes?

Ok, so 5 minutes might be a bit of an exaggeration! However, you can learn to ride a bike very quickly, as long as everyone is ready and willing.

  1. Once your child has mastered the art of a balance bike, or is bored of their training wheels, it is time to move on to the nest step.
  2. Ensure that they are wearing all the appropriate safety gear and make sure that the area you are learning in is free from obstacles.
  3. Get them to sit on the bike, facing forward. Have them scoot forwards a little way so they can practise using the brakes.
  4. Holding your child by the shoulders or back, get them to pedal slowly. This is to help them get used to the way we need to pedal to move forwards.
  5. Have a little break, then start again, but this time release your grip of the child after a few metres.
  6. Back to the beginning again, and this time just hold the shoulders and the handlebars, and release them a little earlier.
  7. Once again, start off by holding your child but release them after just a few steps, and watch them ride away!
  8. You can, if you are worried, place cushions around the area to catch them when they inevitably fall off.
  9. Remember that practise makes perfect, so don’t allow your child to become discouraged if they don’t nail it first time!

This great video will show you the best way to teach your child to ride a bike very quickly:

What Age Should A Child Be Able To Ride A Bike Without Training Wheels?

Riding a bike without training wheels can be a little daunting and scary, but the good news is that once they have mastered riding with stabilisers, it won’t be long before they are riding freely on two wheels.

Using a balance bike can help a child learn to balance whilst sitting, whereas training wheels don’t allow this extra balance.

Training wheels are great at helping to encourage bike riding whilst preventing falls, but they can also be detrimental to learning about cycling.

Generally, between the ages of 4 and 8 is a good time to ditch the training wheels, but like everything this is largely based on the individual.

You may find that your child wants to keep the extra security of training wheels a little longer – and this is absolutely fine! Everyone learns at their own pace, and you don’t want to put them off.

If your child is champing at the bit and wants to remove their training wheels earlier than you would like, just go with it – always ensure they are wearing the correct safety gear though!

Final Words

All kids love riding bikes. The freedom, the wind in their hair, the beautiful countryside whizzing by, increased independence…

With the right encouragement, even the most stubborn of children can be taught to ride a bike, and to enjoy it! If yours has been digging their heels in, try some of our tips to get them out and about on two wheels.

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