The teenage years of a child can be a very tough time for many parents.
Teenagers can sometimes appear to regress as people, and will often act more like children than young adults. Their ability to talk reverts and the only noises that you will hear from them are various grunts which unfortunately have no dictionary definition.
As a parent, as hard as it is, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you are going to be the last person they will want to be seen with in public. Everything that you suggest to them will be deemed either ‘uncool’ or ‘boring’. It often seems like you cannot win.
This experience can become very stressful as sometimes the advice that you are trying to put across is really important for them to take on board. The example that I am going to talk about is how to get your teenage children to ride a bike.
It is surprising how many children never learn how to ride a bike or forget as they get older.
Yet this is a skill that they really should know as riding a bike can really help teenagers as they are in the process of development.
Their body is changing on a daily basis and they will be constantly growing (as you will probably have noticed because of all the food that goes missing from the fridge and cupboards). Riding a bike can really help teenage children to develop a good posture that will benefit for them for the rest of their life. Having a good posture makes breathing much easier and displays a much more confident image.
This article will provide you with the best tips on how to teach a teenager to ride a bike.
Safety always comes first when learning to ride a bike. You should take your teenage child to an area where there are not many cars. Empty parking lots are always a good shout. Doing this also helps as teenagers will be very self-conscious. By taking them to a place where there are not many members of the public and where the chances of people they know seeing them, you will make the process much easier.
You should start off by setting the seat so they can get both feet flat on the floor. The next thing to do is to show them how to use the brakes to slow down. They may already know what to do, in this situation you should stop explaining. This is because explaining things that they know can quickly lead to them getting wound up and losing their temper. After the seat has been adjusted and they know how to use the breaks then the real fun begins.
Start off by letting them coast around without putting their feet on the pedals. You should always offer encouragement as was mentioned before they will probably be feeling pretty embarrassed and self-conscious. One rule that you should always adhere to is never react to anything that they do wrong as this is the quickest way to turn the situation pretty sour.
Once they have mastered balancing on a bike it’s time to advance some more. Get them to place their feet on the pedals but tell them not to actual pedal along, you should raise the seat so that this is easier. The time it takes to learn how to learn this varies between individuals so make sure that you stay patient.
After coasting with their feet on the pedals it’s time to try some real pedaling. When children are younger what usually happens at this bit is that the person teaching them how to ride the bike takes hold of the back of the seat for extra stability. However this is different for teenagers as they want to be more independent and work things out for themselves. You should ask them if they want you to do this if the answers no it isn’t an issue. They will still learn how to do this in time.
Now that they can pedal it’s time to introduce how to steer. At first it is very common for learners to make too sharp turns and lose their balance. Falling off for a teenager can be very detrimental. To avoid this you should work on S shaped turns instead.
Once this is mastered it’s just practice that has to run its course. Teaching a teenager to ride a bike is a skill. You have to strike the perfect balance between offering encouragement but not going over the top and building the pressure on. A good tip is to offer some type of incentive to make learning to ride a bike much more appealing to them.
David Veibl - Marketing Consultant at Cruiser Bikes, a company promoting cycling lifestyle for every age.