Teaching Your Kid to Ride a Bike Prepares Them for Life (Sort Of)

Have you ever been completely annoyed at your own parenting? Occasionally I'll have this kind of out-of-body sensation where while I'm saying something -- and sounding like a grandma from a sitcom -- I'm simultaneously rolling my eyes at myself.

My husband and I recently taught my 6-year-old daughters how to ride bikes. It was an intense and not all that pleasurable experience and it came with a huge self eye roll.

My usually chill kids were incredibly frustrated with themselves for not picking it up immediately and possibly more frustrated with us for not being better teachers.

To be fair, running hunched over alongside a child who is pissed off and covered with tears and snot while simultaneously attempting to not kick their bike's tires or to not get your feet run over, is a lot harder than it looks.

I wish I'd asked around because after the fact, friends offered all sorts of helpful advice. Get one of those peddle-free bikes first, for example, so they can learn to feel their own weight.

Instead of holding onto the bike seat, or worse, the handlebars (I did both) hold onto the child's shoulders so you're not compensating for them. You're welcome.

The only funny part (if there was one) was that we found ourselves shouting out biking advice that doubled as saccharine life lessons. The kind a thousand Lifetime movies could be based on and the kind that I fully expect my kids to tease me for at a later date. For example:

"You think you need me, but you don't."

"Always look where you're going, never look down."

"Balance is everything."

"Steer around the bumps."

"You don't need training wheels, you only think you do."

"Stay on the path."

"Brake when necessary."

"The faster you pedal, the shorter the road."

"Patience takes practice."

"Helmets are supposed to be tight. Don't worry about your hair."

Did it go smoothly when you taught your child a new skill?

Image via ianus/Flickr



activities, kid activities


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Scott Davis

I just taught my 5 yo last weekend. I took the pedals off and had her coast down the driveway about a dozen times. When she put her feet up on the bar and rode down I knew she was ready to start with pedals. I put the pedals back on and after 5 trips down the driveway she was riding her bike. Not one time did I hold her or the bike, she did it all on her own. Very proud of my daughter.

2cent... 2centsCDN

Learning a new skill rarely goes smoothly, we're human after all.

That being said....your kids are 6 and JUST learning to ride bikes??

jalaz77 jalaz77

2centsCDN-my second child is 5 and JUST got his first bike, he didn't want one 2 yrs ago and still doesn't want one now. Big deal. There are other things in life I rather he do well in. The kid would rather run.

Scott Davis

My 13 yo was 7 before he learned to ride his bike. He fought us the whole time and it took us a couple weeks to teach him. I was expecting the same thing with the 5 yo and put it off for awhile, she should have been riding last year...

.LoVe... .LoVeMyBuG.

I have a NINE year old who can't ride a bike and refuses to learn, has no interest no matter how hard we try to encourage! I won't lie, I think it's sad and I am a little annoyed and embarrassed but oh well. My 4 year old however loves her bike, hopefully she will be riding training wheel free this summer.

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