There comes a day in every toddler’s life where the training wheels come off, and the anxiety kicks in. For them – up until this day – riding a bike was a fun, carefree activity. It felt safer. Secure. There were no talks of kickstands, or learning how to balance correctly. It was a blissful joyride.
“No, I don’t want to!” they protest. “I can have training wheels my whole life. I promise I won’t get embarrassed!”
But their attempts are in vain. The decision has been made. So, you lean down, and as gently as possible, tell them, “I’m sorry, sweetie. But the time has come to push you out of the nest.”
Perhaps it won’t go that dramatically. However, a moment such as this one is tantamount to any buzzed-about Oscar biopic. It begs for a little more recognition. So, if both you and your child are apprehensive about the first day of bicycling, here are some safety tips to help cushion any falls.
To give you a little more peace of mind while your little one is out riding, make sure you have your McGruff Safe Kit handy.
Safety first. Be sure your child is not wearing an ill-fitting bicycle helmet (and no, we’re not talking about one with a heinous pattern. Although that should be noted as well). If your child’s helmet is too loose, it will be unable to protect their skulls properly. A helmet should be snug, not tight. For even more detailed tips on how to fit a helmet, check this site here.
A bike needs to be a well-oiled machine, literally. Make sure the chains are on correctly, the tires are inflated, and the brakes are in working order.
Rather than letting fear control you, it is important to let the bike know who is boss. You can ride around on your own bike, and set an example for your child. You can show them that riding a bike without training wheels doesn’t have to be scary. It’s fun, and easy! It’s also helpful for them – while riding a bike without training wheels feels intuitive to you, this is all new to them. Your child has a fresh pair of eyes that can pick up on all the things you do while riding your bike, and seeing it visually helps fill holes that you might have missed in teaching them.
Check your streets and side roads, and make sure you’re not teaching your child how to ride a bike at the busiest hours of the day. Also, be conscious of potholes, glass, or any other hazards on the road. The last thing you want is to turn your child’s first day into a Mario Kart game.
Always assure your child that you’ve got their back. That way, you’ll be right there to catch them when they fall, and steer them from any dangerous situations. Be alert, and give them your full, undivided attention. Because being right behind them not only ensures their safety, but it also guarantees you won’t miss out on their most pivotal moments. When your kid finally pedals down the street with unwavering confidence, it’s important that you’re there to see them, and become their personal cheerleader. And ultimately, it’s your support that ends up being the biggest safety net for your child.