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Does It Go Smoothly When Teaching Your Kids a New Skill?
May 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM

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

by Sarah Bernard

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."

"Break when necessary."

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

"Patience takes practice."

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

Whether it is in school or life, does it go smoothly when you teach your children new skills?


  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    May 6, 2013 at 3:07 PM

     It depends on if they are ready to learn the new skill or if I am pushing them before they are ready! If they are ready it is so easy for them yo learn but if they are not nothing I do will make them learn it until they are ready to!

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    May 6, 2013 at 3:07 PM

     sometimes yes and sometimes no, also depends on the child! if it takes for than a couple weeks we move on and come back to it later

  • Maridel
    by Maridel
    May 6, 2013 at 6:12 PM
    Usually very smooth. I don't push things they aren't ready for. We actually never used training wheels for out second dd. She got a balance bike at age 1, really learned to use it at age 2, and at age 3 she rides a regular bike with no training wheels. Pedal free is the way to go, lol

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