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Tips for learning to ride a bike?

(74 Posts)
JHKE Mon 24-Aug-09 14:37:12

I just wondered whether anyone had any tips on teaching children to ride their bikes without stabilisers.

I am trying to teach My dd who is 4 in Oct. The thing is she can do it, when I've let go and she hasn't realised she rides it fine but then she realises that I am not holding her stops peddaling and promptly falls.

Its getting incredibly frustrating because she doesn't want to do it, spends the whole time crying even though I've told her she has just done it. I am also getting angry with her.

I don't want to give up but I also don't want to get angry each time. I want her to enjoy it as well and for me to enjoy it with her.

Blackduck Mon 24-Aug-09 14:41:28

Can you put the seat down so that her feet are on the floor and let her scoot first? This gets them to learn balance without the issue of the peddles and then just let her coast around (you don't really go that fast unless you are on a slope..)

hercules1 Mon 24-Aug-09 14:42:42

Perhaps she's just not ready. Dd is 6 in october and still not doing it.

Jaynerae Mon 24-Aug-09 14:55:35

DS was 7 when he learnt. DD is 6 in 4 weeks and she learnt two weeks ago. DD was ready and had the knack of peddling on her own in minutes, stopping after half an hour and starting off on her own in two hours, but DD wanted to do it. We did lower seat so both feet can touch floor - this gave her confidence. DS was not interested until 7 and we did not push him. But when he did do it - again he had it all sorted within a couple of hours. I would try lowering the seat - or leave a few weeks until she feels ready, I wouldn't have tried either of my two at that age to be honest, they would not have been ready for it.

Blackduck Mon 24-Aug-09 14:57:32

ds is 6 and we are having a bash - trying to get him scooting round the garden - he too would not have done it at 4...

JHKE Mon 24-Aug-09 15:10:43

TBH I wouldn't have tried to do it either at this age except we taught our ds a few months ago(he is 5) and she wanted to be like her big brother. Ds was the same crying but was excited when he realised he managed a few pedals without me holding. So because she wanted to be like big brother we thought we would try with her.

If she couldn't do it I would give up and try in a few months/years time, but she can do it when she doesn't realised I've let go. So at the moment I am not willing to give up trying.

We have had another chat, she is willing to give it another go tomorrow. She has a promise of a new toy once she has managed it.

I will try getting her to scoot to gain her balance and confidence.

Thanks for your help

conway Mon 24-Aug-09 17:53:28

My boy is just 8 and still won't ride a bike. He has a real fear. We have bought him a new bike but just won't try.

MmeLindt Mon 24-Aug-09 17:56:08

It is nothing to do with age, it is to do with balance and confidence.

My DC were both riding bikes at 3yo, after having a balance bike first.

Make sure she can touch the ground easily with her feet, that she knows how to brake and let her scoot about.

If she gets too upset, tell her to take a break and if need be wait until another day.

JHKE Mon 24-Aug-09 21:27:33

Thanks MmeLindt, Your right it is to do with confidence and balance. She has the balance, She has the balance on day 2 which took my ds over week to get to. She doesn't have the confidence.

Would it be a good idea to let her just sit on her bike on grass and let her fall to show that its not that bad to fall? or do you think this would hinder.

MmeLindt Tue 25-Aug-09 09:15:27

She might hurt herself a wee bit, even on the grass. I would not risk it. It might put her off.

I would let her just build up her confidence gradually. Go out often for short periods of time rather than staying out until she cracks it (or you start getting frustrated and shouting at her).

I would not promise any presents or treats, but be very generous with praise. When she does manage, do a little celebratory tea party. (Just a normal evening meal, but with cake or balloons or something to make it special and make a fuss of her).

Or a celebratory ice cream. Something simple but important for her.

malovitt Tue 25-Aug-09 09:23:34

Mine could both ride bikes at 3 and I've taught most of the local children too.

The most important thing is to make sure they are always looking straight ahead when pedalling,tell them to never look around or down at their feet because that is when they go over. Once they have managed to go a short distance like this, they will have loads of confidence.

Keep looking straight ahead and keep pedalling.

maggiemoon Tue 25-Aug-09 09:31:21

we took the pedals off ds' bike so he could scoot around more easily. Try this with your dd and when she is more confident put her at the top of a slope and seee if she can sail down with her feet off the ground just balancing and steering. Once she can do this a few times put the pedals back on and see how she goes.

titchy Tue 25-Aug-09 09:58:54

Agree with Maggie's method. It teaches them to balance, and most importantly how to stop by putting their feet the ground so they're not scared of falling. Which builds up confidence.

This shoudld help your ds conway.... my 8 yo ds was the same - not frightened of falling but couldn't work out how to avoid it! Scooting around without pedals gets them used to their feet being able to get to the ground quickly if they lose their balance.

Tortington Tue 25-Aug-09 10:02:13

it too will come

it will just come one day - if your getting stressed leave it

i very much think it depends n the temprament of the child.

my advice would be to go tothe park with butties and a flask and leave her to it.

abra1d Tue 25-Aug-09 10:02:15

My daughter taught herself when she was nearly four. She just pushed herself around without using the peddles and taught herself the balance bit.

If I had had another child, less sure about it, I might have removed the peddles completely and got them to do this for a while, as well.

mollyroger Tue 25-Aug-09 10:04:00

my ds is almost 9 and is just learning.

lljkk Tue 25-Aug-09 10:04:48

I don't think they can learn to do it before they get tall enough to sit on seat with feet flat on ground (they need this for confidence).

admylin Tue 25-Aug-09 10:05:34

I remember that my 2 dc learning to ride bikes involved alot of me running along behind holding the saddle until they were fast enough and then me letting go and shouting just put your feet down if you get too slow, don't dive off, use your brakes, stear and eventually well done!

But the bikes were thrown down in disgust a few times too. It took a couple of afternoons trying for dd (then 7) and about 4 afternoons for ds (then 8) as he kept getting mad and giving up!

gorionine Tue 25-Aug-09 10:08:36

There is a little hill (more a bump) in our local park. We took the DCs there when it was time for them to go without stabilisors. They started riding down hill and the "speed" kept the bike balanced on the way down. After 4/5 rides down they were confident enough to try and go on flat areas on their own (with DH still holing gently the back of the saddle the first couple of times). It did work for 3 of ours.

mollyroger Tue 25-Aug-09 10:09:44

THE most important thing (which is easier said than done) is not to sneer or lose temper/patience with them - you have to get into angelic cheerleader mode and do lots of ''rah rah rah!''
And if they give up after 5 minutes, fine, do it gain another day.

IwishIhadtimetoreadnewspapers Tue 25-Aug-09 10:15:47

My ds 1 is also 4 in october. he's brilliant on his balance bike and we've just got him a pedal bike, hoping that he wouldn't need the stabilisers and would just whizz off!

This didn't happen and he was getting really uptight about it so we put the stabilisers on and decided we'd rather he just had fun on it and actually use it than be scared of it or not use it.

He's already asking about the stabilisers as some of his friends go without, so I don't think it'll be long before he asks to take them off.

JHKE Tue 25-Aug-09 11:04:19

Well we took her out this morning with my mum acting as a focal point. We still had loads of crying, she did do it on her own again but still cried about it. Towards the end I think she realised that we wouldn't go home until she tried so she seemed to try a bit more. So I am taking this as a step forward.

She can touch the floor but will double check seat is at lowest, pretty sure it is.

I think I will also get my mum to video especially when she does it so we can show her that she can do it and hopefully gets a boost.

Will also tell her to put her feet down when she wants to stop and try and use her brakes.

In my simple logic the fact she has done it should give her confidence but it doesn't and I don't know why.

I don't want to put the stabilisers back on as 1) we've chucked them and 2) she was getting speed up on her bike with them that it was causing the bike to tilt and for dd to fall off anyway.

EyeballsintheSky Tue 25-Aug-09 11:40:31

If she's crying a lot it doesn't sound like she's ready for the pressure IYSWIM. I'm with Custy. Just keep taking her out to places where she can have a mooch round on her own until she gets the bug again and then try. Sounds like she's ok when left to it.

Are balance bikes worth it btw? Was thinking of one for DD's 2nd birthday in the new year. She loves her wooden trike thing and is a whizz on it so next spring she might be ready to step up a gear but can't decide on normal or balance bike.

lljkk Tue 25-Aug-09 11:45:45

I agree about no pressure, cycling is a confidence thing; it needs to be learnt as fun, and nought else.

I would get a balance bike if they didn't cost so much. Not worth it to me pricewise. I can't see how they can be safe if no brakes (many don't have brakes). And there's (imho) no great advantage in cycling without stabs before they are old enough to go on the road, anyway (so not before age 5 at the youngest).

All of mine did cycle without stabs well before age 5, but we never had a balance bike.

juuule Tue 25-Aug-09 11:47:43

Why don't you want to give up? What's the rush?
She'll do it in her own time and without the tears. Why have her doing something that is making her spend the whole time crying. It's supposed to be enjoyable. Isn't it?

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