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has anyone else had a pedal bike refuser?

(42 Posts)
anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 15:44:42

My almost 5 yo is determined not to pedal his bike. Its driving me mad. He absolutely LOVES his balance bike. But its getting way to big for it though and its very worn out from a lot of use. We will have to get rid of it. So he will no longer have a bike.
If i put him on his normal bike he gets a bit hysterical sayi g he cant do it. He pedals the pedals backwards but not forwards. He says his legs wont do it. He does tend to become hysterical quite easily its his nature.
I know he can do pedals cos i have seen him do them occasionally on a trike but he just seems to not like them much.
All his friends are on pedal bikes without stabilisers and i am worried he will miss out. I know how much he would love it cos of how much he loves his balance bike.
I know its generally better to do a laid back approach with these things normally and not put any pressure on but i know from experience with him that he sometimes needs a little persuasion otherwise he wont try anything new.
Does anyone have any tips? Do you think he just needs anither 6 months to mature a bit and try again later?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 15:47:44

Sounds a bit like dd2 she just can't seem to figure out how to do it. U like dd1 who was riding bikes at 2

anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 15:49:31

Same here.giles. i can seem his 2.5 yo brother cracking it before him.

CointreauVersial Wed 06-Aug-14 15:59:50

DD2 was about 7 before she really managed to ride a bike safely. Her older siblings were way younger, but she just couldn't get to grips with it. Just keep trying.

anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 16:03:58

Ok thanks. I am a bit aware that people say it can become more difficult to learn as you get older so dont want to miss window of opportunity! Nice to know someone elsemanaged at 7

Tigresswoods Wed 06-Aug-14 16:04:58

Oh God YES!!!

We're a step on from you. DS is 4.5 & has been really competent on the balance bike for a couple of months.

Both DH & I are keen cyclists, nothing competitive, we just enjoy cycling in the weekends. He's always gone on the back of either of our bikes but he's getting too heavy for the Hamax seat now.

I remember I learned to ride at just 4 so I was keen to get him off his balance bike & stabilisers.

My dad said to me you've either got to do carrot or stick.

I went with carrot! I took him to the park & said he could have sweets if he rode his bike. Hey presto with a little pushing from me he peddled away.

That was 3 weeks ago & he's had some further practice BUT he doesn't "like" it & doesn't want to continue.

Have I been too pushy? As you saw, will he just mature into it? I don't get it, he can do a brilliant big boy thing & isn't interested.

Panzee Wed 06-Aug-14 16:07:04

You could be describing me!
I hated learning to ride a bike, couldn't get the hang of it at all. I never managed it and can't ride one now. I can't say it's ever affected my life in any way whatsoever.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Wed 06-Aug-14 16:08:27

Ds can ride his bike with no problems but can't figure out how to start himself off by pushing from the ground and getting his feet on the pedals. He wants me to hold the back while he gets going.

He won't listen to my advice or try and we end up having a shouting match with me going "you have to try!" "Listen to me!" And him screaming "No I can't!!!" blush

I have a feeling I should not be the one to teach him to drive when the time comes.

anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 16:09:23

Ok thanks for replies. I am wary about pushing it in case i push him the wrong way like you say. I did once promise him a treat if he just tried it. He gave a very half hearted try then asked for sweet. Maybe i could try that tactic again.

anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 16:12:53

Yes pourquoi we end up in those sort of conversations. I find myself saying "but youre not even trying you have to try" and him saying " i am i'm trying my best" but i know hes not!!

hotdog74 Wed 06-Aug-14 17:02:11

If he likes his balance bike but size is the issue can you not just get him a new normal bike and take off the pedals for now so he just uses it as a balance bike. As he becomes confident on the new bike and is around other children who are pedalling you can then add pedals back on and go from there?
Porquoi - my DH has just managed to teach our DD to start off by encouraging her to get some speed up as if it was a balance bike using her feet on the floor and then putting her feet on the pedals. Might be worth a try?
Good luck!

anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 17:08:06

Hotdog. I thought about taking pedal off but wasnt sure if he would ever let us put them back on. I thought he may need the incentive of pedal bike or no bike. But perhaps it would be a good interim thing.
He is very very good on his balance bike. Very fast and good balance etc. So he really should in theory transition to a normal bike fine.

Sidge Wed 06-Aug-14 17:10:24

My DD1 didn't learn to ride a bike until she was 11.

Just not interested at all.

She can ride a bike easily now but chooses not to (she's nearly 16) and would rather walk everywhere. It's not exactly an essential life skill IMO.

littleducks Wed 06-Aug-14 17:13:29

where do you live? Some areas provide free cycle training (not just bikeability bit how to ride too) all London boroughs but some other areas too.

DoItTooJulia Wed 06-Aug-14 17:24:02

My ds was exatly the same, peddled backwards, said he couldn't do it, got hysterical, would 'fall' off on purpose the minute he got on a bike.

When he was 7, almost 8 he just got it.

He went on a level one bikeability course and that was it, he was off. He's 9 now and we've just bought him his first (small ) adult bike.

Maybe just keep trying, low key, and if he doesn't get it, leave it till he does?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Aug-14 17:42:32

I find myself saying "but youre not even trying you have to try" and him saying " i am i'm trying my best" but i know hes not!!

It's soooo frustrating isn't it.

I watch dd and I had repeated myself soooooo many times that even a child of 3 which she is, could easily understand. "Pedal all the way round" over and over and over again. She can do it on a trike, she can pedal "backwards" on the bike, she must understand as I have showed her and told her thousands of times. There's no way it's not being done on purpose angry

HerRoyalNotness Wed 06-Aug-14 17:52:32

Maybe he just isn't into it? My 7 and 4yo are very ambivalent about biking, 7yo still has stabilisers and will only go on it about 2/mth. They do however, love the scooter.

I wouldn't push it, it'll come or it won't. I remember my M teaching me to ride a bike. The torture, one night, she kept me up all hours in the garden, I was crying from falling off all the time, she just would not have it, that I couldn't/didn't want to do it. I went to bed still not riding a bike. The next day, I got on my DB bike that was bigger and rode it down the drive!

Jellified Wed 06-Aug-14 18:01:53

Dd finally cracked it todaygrin however she's 9. Really struggled. I took the pedals off last weekend, out twice with no pedals for max 30 mins then, today asked me to put the pedals on and she was off. Is very pleased as was so anxious about it and embarrassed that friends younger siblings were able to do it.
Perhaps trying a proper bike without pedals may be the way to go for you too. Or may be he just isn't ready/ that bothered yet. Dd did say I got a bit shoutyblush when I tried before and when I just relaxed and let her get on with it she was fine.

GoogleyEyes Wed 06-Aug-14 18:57:44

Have you been holding him or the bike? Because if you hold him firmly under the armpits from behind, he can pedal backwards all he likes and not fall off. Then he can try a tiny pedal forwards and you can go overboard with the praise. Then maybe a whole pedal forwards. Just build it up in tiny steps, all with no possibility of falling and lots of praise. Would that work?

anothervisittothepark Wed 06-Aug-14 19:02:35

Yes i have been trying to hold him from behind. Rather than the bike cos i read that was the way to do it.

Eva50 Thu 07-Aug-14 19:23:50

Ds3 was days short of his 7th birthday when he learnt. His two closest friends were later than that. I wouldn't push him if he's not interested.

Lagoonablue Thu 07-Aug-14 19:34:53

Yes loved his balance bike but clueless on how to pedal when he got a new bike. He is slowly learning but still prefers his balance bike!

Poppet45 Fri 08-Aug-14 08:51:23

I'd seriously contemplate fixing stabilisers! Ds had a bb but because he was so tall his feet trailed and he never got that fast but whizzed around on his scooter. For his 4th birthday he got a normal kids bike with stabilsers and was off pedalling like a rocket. Unlike bb theres a real incentive for kids to get their stabilisers removed as they're noisy and slow them down abit. It took him two 'lessons' without them to crack it. It was the pushing off he found hard but taking him to a gentle grassy slope helped a they gain momentum. Got a bb for dds 3rd birthday and wondering if Im going to regret it now.

RainbowTeapot Fri 08-Aug-14 09:00:05

Mine loves riding but we did ten minutes every other day or so for a few weeks.talked about practising but made it less of a big deal. I think they can really feel the pressure.

Don't dont don't blame them!! Its very hard to pick up a new skill when you haven't done it before, and it always looks so easy once youve learnt (think about clutches and driving).

Sometimes the parents are more keen for some reason than the child (why on earth is a previous poster getting cross with a 3 year old?! At that age can't they enjoy balance bikes and scooters. What's the rush?)

I think you need to put the work in little and often, stop when they want to or just before ypu feel yourself getting cross (a bit like learning to read)

If yhey feel pressure from you and its already something they can't please you with/feel they are failing then give it a break for a while.

And wwhen they do get it its wonderful! My 5 year old goes on decent length bike rides with my husband and asks to do so.

LoveMyBoots Fri 08-Aug-14 09:02:31

Tigresswoods Have you tried a tag-along? DS would pedal but be attached to your or DH's bike. That way you all get to cycle but no pressure on DS (in fact, I'm not even sure he would need to pedal, just "tag along").

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