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Learning to ride a bike without the training wheels is a pretty big rite of passage in childhood. Virtually every child wants to reach that milestone, but gets nervous about it when the time actually comes. For this reason, your kid may end up riding with training wheels long after he needs them. Getting him to ditch the training wheels is important, but it is also important to let him feel as though he made the choice. Part of the benefit of losing training wheels is that sense of growth and accomplishment. He will not feel that if you push him into it. Here are some parenting tips to help him make that decision naturally:
Parenting Tips to Help Your Child Ditch the Training Wheels
Begin talking about the benefits early
Make ditching the training wheels a big deal early on in the bike riding learning process. Make little comments that let your child know that it is something to look forward to. Explain how the bike turns so much easier when you take off the training wheels or how much faster you can safely go. Make getting rid of the training wheels something that they will want in due time.
Take the fear out of ditching the training wheels
While it is important to let them understand that training wheels are necessary, don’t focus on the dangerous aspects. Instead, make sure they are riding in a place where falling will be minimally painful on a regular basis. Having a “safe” place to ride will almost always bring about a sense of confidence in your child. Keep the biking safety aspect front of mind, but don’t make him afraid to ditch those training wheels.
Take some time to show him how fun it is
You should be riding a bike too and giving him something to strive towards. What better way is there to motivate your child than to show them the fun they are chasing first hand? This is one of the best parenting tips to help ditch training wheels!
Use a carrot if you are so inclined
Some parents don’t like this method, but it is highly effective when used very sparingly. Explain to them that they will not be able to move up to their “new” bike until they can ride their current one properly. That will mean without training wheels. This might not work for every child, but for those that are motivated by such things it is golden.
Make a big deal out of broken attempts
Your child will inevitably dip their toes in the water before actually diving in. When they try, however timidly, to drop the training wheels, make sure that you praise the effort and make them feel good about it. Sometimes the step has to be gradual and that should be understood going in by parents. Not every kid will just jump right in.
Ditching the training wheels is not something that kids will generally do without a bit of prodding. You can ease them along carefully to get the job done in a way that won’t be obvious, however. Never push a child to do such things without their confidence levels being high because you will set them up to not try again. Let the idea be their own and simply cheer them on. Ditching those training wheels will happen in no time flat.
Do you have any parenting tips to help kids ditch the training wheels? Tell us in a comment!