My daughter’s first bike ride – Alfred’s goosebump moment
“Hi! I am Alfred and I am from Curaçao. Well, my goosebump moment that I remember, I am a father, I have a 13-year-old daughter. But, when she was five, I was teaching her stuff, like surfing, skateboarding and finally, riding a bicycle. When we were trying to ride the bicycle, I remember, we went around the park, many, many times, and I was not able to do it because I was doing it wrong, you know, I was holding her waist, balancing. I was doing the balance and then this guy came out of the blue and then he said, “Hey, just put your fingers under her armpits and run behind her, until she does the balance herself with her waist.” I did that. And I am around after five minutes. And she was able to hold the balance herself and she rode off with a bicycle for the first time and it was just a goosebump moment to see my daughter on her first bicycle ride!”
Strengthening the parent-child relationship through bicycles
Learning to ride a bicycle is really a fundamental step for the child. It is one more stage in their physical development and in the acquisition of autonomy. On the other hand, it is not only beneficial to strengthen the relationship between parents and children, but the benefits of children riding a bicycle are multiple as well.
It improves the child’s coordination and balance, which will help their intellectual development. It encourages a healthy habit of physical exercise, reducing the risk of childhood obesity or diabetes due to sedentary lifestyles. It also reduces anxiety and stress, since teaching a child to ride a bike strengthens emotional and family ties.
Teaching a child to ride a bicycle
The right age for parents to teach their children to ride a bicycle is from the age of 3 up. The evolution depends to a great extent on the abilities of each child and if the child has older siblings to imitate, but the most common is that shortly before the age of 2 the child starts riding a tricycle.
When the child has already mastered the tricycle, it is necessary to move on to the initiation bicycle as soon as possible, and from the age of 3, the child should be taught to ride a bicycle. If the bicycle of initiation has been a bicycle without pedals, the child already knows how to keep the balance and what we will have to teach is the pedaling technique.
If the bicycle of initiation has been a bicycle with support wheels, the child already masters the mechanics of pedaling and steering and what he/she needs is to learn to keep the balance, which is the most difficult thing.
One of the steps to teach the child is to check that the height of the bicycle is adequate to the child’s height: correctly seated on the bicycle seat, the child should be able to rest his feet completely on the ground. They will feel more secure, and it will be easier for them to learn to ride a bicycle.
Check the bike’s brakes. They should be soft enough for the child to press on them. It is most common for children to break the bike with their feet at first. Remove the support wheels from the bicycle and, if it is not too complicated, also the pedals. Remember that you will have to reinstall the pedals once the child has learned to ride a bicycle.
Have the child remain seated on the bicycle, holding on with his feet on the ground, alternating the weight on each foot for a while.
Have the child push off with both feet while keeping balance with the feet dangling and only support them when he/she feels he/she is falling. The child should move at his/her own pace from one reference point to another without pedaling.
When the child manages to cover the entire distance between the 2 references without putting his feet on the ground, they have learned to keep their balance and are ready to pedal and you have successfully taught them to ride a bicycle.
Biking as a family: the benefits of cycling
Many parents are looking for activities to enjoy with their children and their free time. Without a doubt, cycling as a family is a good option since it is a fun and healthy practice. Cycling allows you to spend more time with your children while exercising and encouraging sport from an early age. An opportunity to have a great time as a family and maybe get to know new places.
It is an activity full of benefits for both adults and children. Nowadays, both spend most of our time hooked to a screen. Biking can bring families back to enjoying nature and the world around us.
Children who ride a bike get their psychomotor skills moving and their reflexes alert. In addition to activating the circulation and protecting the heart, it helps combat overweight and obesity. It reduces anxiety and strengthens the immune system by promoting the creation of defenses. It also stimulates the hormone of happiness, which increases the feeling of well-being and helps us feel happier.
In conclusion, cycling helps children grow up healthy and strong. It is a very complete sport that can be beneficial for all members of the family.
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