Learning to ride a bike is a great joy, especially when starting with a great balance bike. After spending time on reading buying guide, reviews, doing research, you have finally bought the best balance bike and felt satisfied with your purchase! However, the beginning will always be a challenge at first. What if your child doesn’t want to ride it outside? What if he/she finds difficulty in trying something new and refuses to get into the new balance bike?
As parents, what should you do when your child is hesitant to learn to ride with balance bike? How can you convince and encourage your toddler to give the balance bike a try before he/she decides to completely give up?
Here are some tips to follow when your toddlers are not ready for a balance bike:
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1. Try to figure out WHY your kids are unwilling to ride balance bike
New situations, strange things are unpredictable to children and challenge their need to feel secure and in control. Therefore, it is important to validate toddlers’ fears while listening carefully with tempathy and encouragement. Maybe they feel scared as seeing a kind of bike without training wheels. Maybe they simply think balance bike riding is not as fun as you said. Maybe they fell off traditional bicycle before and bad experiences still freaking them out…Try to know what prevents toddlers from getting into the new balance bike then you will find solutions to those problems. If your kids feel you are there to understand and support them, they will grow brave enough to give the balance bike a try.
2. Do not push or force kids
Forcing a child to ride a balance bike before he/she is ready is never advisable. Toddlers will not learn something new, nor will they be motivated to try again if they have been forced into doing what they are scared of. That’s why I’m a firm believer that if a child doesn’t want to do, “making him/her do it” will be helpless.
3. Stay patient, yet persistent
Do not force children just because they are not ready right now, doesn’t mean let them keep hiding forever. Try to say: “I understand it can feel a bit scary to ride this bike. Let’s take a tour with it, but you can stop or take a break if you don’t like it” or “If you don’t try, you will never know how fun it is. Hop on it! I will be there for you sweetie!”…On the other hand, you can let your toddlers see other kids having fun with balance bikes, it would probably make it more appealing to them.
4. Prove by Actions, not Words
A recent survey reveals that today’s children are missing out on pursuits such as cycling, climbing, swimming enjoyed by past generations of youngsters. Experts blamed the findings on their parents being too afraid to let them play outside. Rather than go out and ride their bikes, those “indoor kids” are more likely to engage with electronic gadgets.
So, if your child doesn’t want to ride balance bike outside, maybe it’s your fault. Telling a child that he will love this balance bike, or riding it will be so fun, or that all his friends are doing it is not getting to the heart of the problem until you prove it in your actions. You should do things with your child to emphasize that bike riding is not only great exercise, but it’s a fun outdoor activity. Let your kids see you riding bigger bicycle, and having a great time on it to raise their bravery in balance bike.
5. Help your toddlers feel in control
By measuring correct size of your kids, adjusting the balance bikes handlebar and seat to make sure their feet properly touch the ground, you will eliminate the frustration of falls and spills which can be scaring for kids. The safety factor of not falling on hard pavement makes your little ones feel more comfortable to overcome the fear and try new things.
You are your child’s best example, so try to be positive role models for him/her and do not give up easily when he/she is hesitate to ride a new balance bike. Your understanding and supports will inspire toddlers to become more open and willing to ride a balance bike in particular and take future positive risks in general.