Europe Gets It: Lose the Training Wheels

April 23, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Uncategorized

For some reason, Americans appear to be in love with the technique of training wheels. It’s the method utilized by virtually every parent to teach a youngster to ride their bicycle and’s an awful, ineffective way of teaching a boy or girl to ride a bicycle.

Children need to grasp several different skills in order to become a confident bike rider. These consist of balance, steering, pedaling and stopping. Bike safety is the first skill any child ought to learn, but following safety the next most important skill is undoubtedly balance. Training wheels have simply no value when it comes to teaching balance.
A lot of parents will reason that training wheels or stabilizers as they may be referred to in Europe offer a kid a feeling of confidence that is a precursor to learning to ride. That’s an invalid notion.

The reason a child needs that build up of assurance is that the bike they’re learning to ride on is too tall and too heavy. It’s a huge contraption with sprockets that are like teeth and serrated pedals that continue tearing the skin from their legs.

It’s too heavy to maneuver easily and the seat is so high they can’t even put their little feet on the ground. Most 12″ bikes you buy at the nearby department store weigh practically as much as the kid who will ride it. Father and mother should try riding a bike that equals their own weight and won’t let them place their feet on the ground. Then they’d have a much better notion of what children are facing.

Training wheels may provide a child some self-confidence on their bike. In many cases, they don’t even do this. With training wheels, a child can be riding a wobbly bike that’s susceptible to tipping over. One fall and the reservoir of confidence leaks away.

If training wheels aren’t the solution, then precisely what is?

A technique for instructing your son or daughter to ride a bicycle that’s getting increasingly popular is with a balance bike. These lightweight bikes are specially designed to show a child the way to ride a bicycle. They are very low to the ground so that even little ones as young as two can straddle the seat with his or her feet placed on the ground.

The basic principle is quite like the very first two-wheeled vehicle which preceded the bike called a Dandy Horse. This device was powered with the rider’s feet continuously pushing along the ground. Balance bikes like the Kinderbike Lafraud utilise the identical philosophy.

Kids sit on the seat and push themselves around and a remarkable thing occurs. They start to learn their balance on the bikes without actually thinking about it. No anxiety or worry. No need for mom or dad running behind them building an aura of safety and security.

They simply get on the bikes and ride. Having the crucial abilities of steering and balancing learned, little ones can easily make the conversion to a pedal bike the moment they’re comfortable.
What will be most unexpected for parents is that they won’t ever be required to encourage a reluctant, scared child to get on their bicycle. They won’t invest hours holding a child up on their bike given that they aren’t self-assured enough to balance themselves.

Parents who teach their child with a balance bike don’t have to do much of anything other than find a way to keep up with their child the moment they’ve learned balance on their bike mainly because after they do, there’s absolutely no stopping them.

Curious about the balance bike? Check out Balance Bikes 4 Kids site where they have a complete line of balance bikes and size guide to help you pick the right bike. Chose from wood bikes, metal bikes like the Kiderbike Lafraud voted best balance bike by the New York Times.


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