Our 5-year-old has recently been given a bicycle, with stabilisers, and whilst keen to learn to ride when asked, she becomes nervous and a bit unwilling when we get to a suitable area.

Clearly she needs to build up a bit of confidence about it; does anyone have any useful tips or advice about teaching a child to ride?

asked 28 Sep '09, 12:26

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Ratinox
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edited 18 Oct '09, 14:50

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Tammy ♦♦
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We also purchased a bike for our 5 year old daughter this summer, with stabilisers and helmet. I think what made our job easier was that fact that my husband also has a bicycle, and we had been talking about a bike for several months. She chose the bike and the accessory basket too, so that already augmented the relationship with the bicycle.

We live in the centre of the city in a rather hilly district so her first ride was very short. We talked about it, she was not keen on the helmet and I had to gently persuade her, without frightening her.

I walked beside her as she tried to come to grips with the whole process of looking ahead, peddling and enjoying the sensation of being on the move. I kept my hand close to the back of the bicycle and balanced her when needed. I think the secret was to go slowly, stop, and then start again, each time the ride would lengthen a little more.

Needless to say the peddling became easier and suddenly the realisation of motion brought real wonder to her little face, she turned around to glance at me and before I could say anything she had tilted to the left and fell. The first few falls made me feel funny inside, but I remained calm, encouraging her that she was doing a great job.

I think the secret is to go at the pace your daughter feels confident and comfortable with. This may be very slow to begin with, and may mean that you will be supporting the back of the bicycle with your hand, until she feels comfortable enough to go it alone.

I believe that no matter how well we know how easy and straightforward something is, I don't think we can convince our children to ignore their own feelings totally, without us first understanding and sympathising with theirs, and making them see that we indeed do really understand.

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answered 28 Sep '09, 12:55

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Emi
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Great answer, thanks - we'll give it a go this weekend :-)

(28 Sep '09, 13:12) Ratinox

Thats good to hear :) Enjoy yourselves!

(28 Sep '09, 13:16) Emi

Good advice, We are getting our son a bike for Christmas.

(02 Dec '11, 20:17) K D

What about getting one of these?

http://www.thegyrobike.com/Default.asp

They are a bit pricey, but they replace the front wheel and really help the bike stay stable. This should make learning a lot easier, it's strength is adjustable, and I would think you could probably sell the wheel when your child no longer needs it to make back some of the cost.

They say they don't ship directly to Canada yet, but that Think Geek does. However think geek's site says they are not currently available...

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answered 29 Apr '10, 19:35

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Andy H
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I saw this in action on TV a while back - very cool.

(29 Apr '10, 22:55) Kate

I don't have enough rep to comment (or vote!), but I would heartily endorse Emi's answer. I learned to ride a bike by exactly that method, and was taught by my grandfather who was an exceedingly patient and laid back man. All would add is just that; be patient and laid back.

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answered 28 Sep '09, 14:06

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banjollity
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1

It sounds even nicer hearing it from someone grown-up :)

(28 Sep '09, 14:45) Emi

I noticed this riding made easy website and wondered whether anyone knew anything more about it. We've taught our eldest to ride, using the traditional, hold the back of the bike method, as described by Emi, but our second one is just not interested enough to put in the time. She's nearly six and nearly all her friends can ride a bike, I don't want her to get left behind. So it's tempting to find some method which will speed up the process for her.

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answered 15 Nov '09, 13:16

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Meg Stephenson
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accept rate: 7%

Whatever you do, don't hold her bike and let go without her knowing... that's what my father did when I was a kid, I turned, I saw it, I fell, and It was a very long time until I rode again.

I'd suggest walking beside her, holding the bike with one hand, and showing her other kids doing it.

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answered 28 Sep '09, 12:52

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JJJ
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Asked: 28 Sep '09, 12:26

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Last updated: 02 Dec '11, 20:17