Remember the day you mastered the skill of riding a bike? The thrill on your bike coach's face when you finally pedaled and steered on your own without hitting a wall? The even bigger grin on your bike coach's face when your mom handed him $100 for a private lesson?
Yeah, don't feel bad -- that wasn't my experience either. But these days, it's totally possible for parents to dodge the often arduous task of teaching their little ones how to ride a bike by actually hiring a bicycle coach to do the dirty work for them.
Bike coaches help kids transition from training wheels to two-wheelers and assist them in finding their balance. They typically charge about $90 for a private lesson. Though I wouldn't think twice about paying more than that for a certified instructor to teach my child how to swim, there's something about teaching her to ride a bike that seems ... well, like a parent's job.
Maybe it's because I have vivid and sweet memories of my dad holding onto the back of my bike seat and not warning me that he was about to let go. The accomplishment I felt knowing I had figured out -- with minimal help -- how to ride a two-wheeler was something special.
Or maybe it's because, unlike with swimming -- which involves technique -- the only thing kids really need to learn how to ride a bike is time. They need a parent to take them out for an hour a day, give them a few pointers, and then let them fall down a bunch of times until they get it. Believe me, I know it can be difficult to find a spare hour in the day to devote to biking, but hiring someone else to do this for us robs us of one of the greatest things about being a parent: watching our kids figure something out for themselves.
As far as coaches go, here are 3 suggestions for anyone who wants to start her own small kid coaching business and make a million dollars doing it:
1. Potty Training Coach. You bet I'm a hypocrite. As I write about how important it is to be there when your kid learns to ride a bike, I am watching my almost-3-year-old -- who still refuses to use the potty -- run around in Pull-Ups that barely fit her. I would pay a potty training coach big bucks to take over for me.
2. Defend-Yourself-Against-Bullies Coach. Because when my child one day comes home in tears because she was bullied at school, I'm pretty sure my solution of attending class with her from first to twelfth grade isn't going to fly.
3. Eat-Your-Damn-Vegetables Coach. If I hear "it's yucky!" one more time at the dinner table, I'm just gonna give my toddler $5 and point her to the nearest McDonald's.
Here's more info about bike coaches, which, after writing this post, aren't looking so bad, after all.
Would you hire a coach to teach your child how to ride a bicycle?
Image via John Tornow/Flickr