My husband and I have three kids. We should have had more because, by our third kid, we are just starting to get the hang of all things kids. The most recent parental task that we have determined to be easier the more practice we have, is getting our kids to ride a bike without training wheels.
With our first kid, she had two bikes with training wheels before she learned to ride without training wheel assistance. We pushed her off and helped her fumble her way around as she learned to ride without training wheels.
Our second son just recently outgrew his bike with training wheels at the age of 6. Our daughter who is not yet 4 is going to skip training wheels altogether.
It Is All About The Balance
Watching our kids ride a bike, the main hurdle to learn to ride, is learning to balance the bike. The coordination of braking and turning will come as long as they can balance.
When Toys”R”Us went out of business, my mom grabbed a balance bike for our youngest. Balance bikes do not have pedals or brakes. They are instead made for young kids to use their feet as the pedals and brakes. Our daughter was three when she received the bike. Even though we did not need another bike, trike or scooter in our garage, it was inexpensive with their clearance sale. Low and behold, our youngest can glide on her balance bike with no issues. She is riding the balance bike well, and we have determined to get her a normal bike with brakes so that she can use something other than her feet to stop her.
Make Any Bike a Balance Bike
For my son’s birthday, we upgraded his bike to a bigger size, but it had no training wheels. He flat out refused to try his new bike without assistance. To help get him comfortable on his new bike, my husband removed the training wheels and pedals off his old bike to use a balance bike.
Approximately two weeks of balance practice on his old bike, he determined he was ready for his pedals back. He immediately took off riding his bike with pedals as if he had been doing it his whole life. He wobbled a little as he coordinated braking and turning the handles, but because he had learned to balance, it took no time to take off.
Potty training is another parenting task that got easier as we practiced on each kid. To read our feelings on potty training, check out this post.