As parents, imparting knowledge and skills to our kids is part of the job. The more we can teach them before they leave to build their own lives, the better equipped they will be for the future.
However, most experienced parents will agree that when you teach your kids something, you learn a few new things yourself. One of the great experiences of early parenting is teaching your kids to ride bikes and today, we will discuss the things parents learn through this experience.
So, you or your kid decided it’s time to learn how to ride bikes. As any devoted parent, you went through multiple websites and catalogues to find the best 20-inch bikes and picked one for your 8-year old.
But this was the easy part. Now, it’s time to teach them how to ride it, and you are in for ride yourself. Here are a few things you will learn as you teach them to ride bikes.
When to Hold On and When to Let Go
Knowing when to hold on and when to let go is a complex yet necessary thing for parents to learn, especially early on. As you run behind your kid and grip firmly to the back of their seat, you will quickly feel and realize the moments when your kid is fearful of falling.
After a little while, they will avoid their fear by pedalling like crazy to fight.
They will ride and will run as you hold their bike. Just a few minutes of this will have you puffing and sweating profusely.
To onlookers, it will seem as though you are being dragged by your kid, even though it is you who is gripping and fuelling the momentum that is keeping the bike and your kid from falling over.
Trust us when we tell you that you can only keep this up for up to 10 minutes before you need a break to rest your back and lungs.
Regardless, keep going and tell your kid to keep trying. One thing you’ll notice is that between these sessions, there are a few short moments when you can feel your kid steering, pedalling, and balancing the bike on their own.
Those are the moments you have to let go, while always running along with your hands ready to take over when needed.
The feeling you get from holding on and letting go is a true metaphor of your entire journey with your kids. Remember this feeling because, over time, you will learn to use it as an emotional indicator of when to hold on and when to let go so they can learn on their own.
Momentum to Keep Moving Forward
Riding a bike requires a lot of attention and effort from your kids because they have to multitask. They are required to learn pedalling, balancing, and steering, all at the same time.
However, there are moments when momentum can take over. Maybe you push them along, or maybe there is a slight decline on the trail. In moments like these, your kid doesn’t have to pedal because the momentum does it for them, giving them a better chance at balancing and steering.
Surprisingly, most kids steer themselves into perfect balance and experience moments of successful bike riding. All thanks to momentum.
This is an excellent lesson for all parents. Anytime you feel like it is easier to stop moving forward or you feel like giving up on being the best parent you can be, remember this momentum. Remember that by moving forward, you can give your kids a better chance to succeed.
No matter how hard things get, all parents must create momentum and keep moving forward.
Falling Is Inevitable
Cycling is an excellent activity and a lot of fun, for the most part. When you teach your kids to ride bikes, you must accept that they will fall. There isn’t a single person in the world who learned how to ride a bike without falling.
Not only will your kid fall, but you might also fall as well trying to teach them.
Although, one thing you will learn is that no matter how many times your kid falls, they will likely want to get back up and try again. They may not do it immediately or on the same day but, they will try again.
As a parent, you need to acknowledge their fall and encourage their effort to keep trying. It is always handy to remind them of their achievements and successes before the fall. It will help speed up the process and get them back on the bike again.
Kids learn from their parents and mimic their behaviours. If they learn to remind others of their past successes and to keep trying, you will find that whenever you fall in your life, your kid will remind you of your past achievements and encourage you to try again.
Parenting is a unique journey for everyone and you learn as you go, which is why you should always encourage new skills and experiences. Whether it’s teaching your kid to ride bikes or anything else, just remember to let go when it feels right, never stop moving forward, and keep trying if you fall and you should be fine.
Bike riding is just one opportunity to teach and learn and you will have many such opportunities over time.