Riding a two-wheeler is the true mark of maturity for most young children, and as badly as they want to master that skill, it is rather intimidating for them. The easiest way to teach them to ride a bicycle by themselves is in small, confidence-boosting steps.
This article will assume that your child is proficient on a bicycle with training wheels. Prepare your child by outfitting him in long pants, safely tied shoes, and a bicycle helmet. Now the fun begins.
- Find an ideal location. If you have a short driveway, your child will not have enough room to gain confidence in his riding before he has to try to negotiate a turn. Likewise, if your street is very busy, he will have to be constantly alert for cars, which is no fun for him or you. Perhaps you can find a deserted parking lot or the track at a local school to practice on.
- Raise the wheels. By raising the level of the training wheels so that they do not quite touch the ground, your child will learn about keeping his balance without being in danger of tipping over. Let him practice riding his bike this way until he gains confidence.
- Off with the training wheels. Let him know that this is another step in the road to learning, and not to be nervous. Have him start with the pedals aligned so that he can step down onto the pedal and start riding. If the pedal is in an awkward position and he gets a shaky start he will probably tip over, however, if he can start smoothly, he will probably be able to maintain his balance. If he is still having trouble you may need to resort to drastic measures.
- Hold onto his seat. Yes, I know it hurts your back and seems useless but after he gets started, you will probably able to let go, and send him on his way, confidence intact.