Tips for teaching your child to ride a bike

Yesterday, Hamish rode his bike without training wheels for the first time.

It was such a proud moment for us both, however, it did not come without a few months of him not wanting to try and of us needing to wait until he was confident and ready to learn.

So how exactly do you teach a child to ride their bike? 

Here are some tips that I have found to help 

1. Start early

Invest in those black push bikes when your child is a toddler. They are cheaper than the more expensive balance bikes and help to develop those big leg muscles. They also offer a lot more stability for smaller children.

2. Choose a preschool-size bike

I personally did not buy a balance bike as we bought a first-size BMX with trainers.
Either will work to help your child learn to balance and ride.
My reason for choosing the BMX over the balance bike was that Hamish is tall and most balance bikes were actually too small for him and secondly because, with no small children to pass the bike down to, I honestly felt the bike was too expensive an investment only to upgrade to a first bike in a few months.

3.Build confidence

Now that your child has their bike, Build their confidence. Praise them for how well they ride. Let them know that you believe in them and that they can do this. Assure them that you are right there if they fall.

4. Space

Allow them the space to explore and ride. If like us you live in a complex, take them to a park, promenade, or around the neighborhood to ride. The more they ride the more confident they will become. ( and it’s healthy for you both to be outside)

5. Remove the training wheels

As it is in life, the time comes to remove the training wheels and let your child try to figure it out themselves.
This can be daunting for you both. The more calm, patient, and encouraging you are, the more confident your child will be.
Praise them continually as they learn.

6. Step by step

First, start by holding the front or the back seat as your child finds their balance.
Then running alongside them, let them peddle, whilst you still hold the back of the bike gently.
Assure them that you won’t let go until they are ready. ( This is important as often fear of falling is the biggest of a child’s fears when they learn to ride a bike)
When your child is confident and you can see they are ready for you to not be there tell them that you are going to let go and again continue to praise them and how well they are doing.
Before you know it they will be riding solo.

7. In their time

Don’t worry if your child struggles or if they want to give up. Don’t worry if cousin Karen’s child has been riding solo for months or if the neighbour Jake’s younger child is already riding their bike.
Your child will learn, in their time with patience, encouragement, and confidence.
As parents, we are too quick to mark a child’s milestones according to society’s needs for a child to grow up. The truth is that all children grow differently and each one achieves at their own pace in their own way.

A child struggling to ride a bike today could be the next World champion 15 years from now….

Did you find this helpful? I’d love your feedback in the comment section below.

4 Replies to “ Tips for teaching your child to ride a bike”

  1. Got my last baby to teach – he’s 2 now and loves riding his push bike: he can’t wait to progress to a pedal bike so that he can go even faster

  2. Hi I have a 12,13,8,8 and 1 year old thier dad taught the big once and I’m into teaching my baby and ur post help me alot loov it

  3. Thank you for these amazing tips , my 6 yearl old niece is terrified of riding without her trainer wheels, would love to try these tips with her

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