Snips And Snails

What A Difference A Day Makes

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Dear Antique Mommy-

A suggestion on how to learn to ride a bike. Take training wheels and the peddles off the bike. Lower seat all the way. Put child on bike making sure feet touch the ground. Let child move bike with feet on ground to catch himself. Get balanced, let child feel balanced, ride bike with feet off of ground and get balanced. Do this for as long as it take to get the balance. Put peddles back on bike. Child should be riding within minutes. (My sister found this in a newspaper and it has been tried on about 10 kids that we know and it works every time.) From what I can tell they are too busy trying to pedal that they cant feel the balance.

~ Keary

* * * * *

Dear Keary –

You are all kinds of awesome. Thank you for caring enough to leave the comment on yesterday’s post. As you can see we gave it a try and it worked like a charm, and just as you said, in a matter of minutes. I think we’ll be putting the pedals back on his bike before the end of the week. Joy abounds at the House of Antique. What a difference a day makes. Thank you, thank you!

~ Antique Mommy

70 thoughts on “What A Difference A Day Makes

  1. Way to go, Sean! I know of lots of kids twice as old who still don’t get it (and as my girl is about to turn 4 and still hardly touches her tricycle, she may be one of those).

  2. Congratulations! I wish someone had showed me this when I was teaching my kids, or when I was learning myself.
    Now, put a help on him. Sorry, just the Jewish mother in me.

  3. Yay for Sean!!!!
    This brings back memories of when I taught my son how to ride a bike! Now he is 26 and still knows how to ride a bike.

    This was great thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Ditto Amy Nathan up above – – HELMET PLEASE. Don’t want to squelch the joy, but start the habit early!! It makes a difference.

    Hooray for progress on the pedaling front!

  5. That’s a great tip! And I hate to say it, but SOMEHOW I made it through my entire childhood without a helmet…so if he’s right in front of your house and you feel comfortable without him wearing one–yep, YOUR decision.

  6. What a great idea! I’ll have to put that one in my “great ideas” file for next spring when the training wheels will come off at our house!

    While I agree that YOU are the parent and it is YOUR decision and yours alone . . . I also personally feel strongly about the use of helmets — no matter how short a ride you’re going on, no matter how close to home (kind of like buckling up in the car, even to drive around the block). I also managed to survive childhood sans helmet, but as I tell my mom, it’s a wonder I made it out alive with no carseats after age 2 and that death-trap of a crib I used to sleep in : )

  7. Wow…I am going to have to try this with Evan. He is about a year older than Sean and still does not have the balance thing going on. His bike has been untouched in the garage for months.

  8. Great idea and great results! I also think he looks a lot happier without all that gear. Maybe the helmet habit is a good one, overall, but I am so glad I didn’t have to mess with it when my kids were growing up (and they did grow up). ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. What a super idea! We are having the same problem at our house with all three of ours! (7,7 and 6) Guess what we will be doing this week?? LOL!

    Thank you!!!

    Traci Best

  10. Thank you for this! My older daughter is almost 7 and still has training wheels (though she doesn’t like to ride her bike, so that’s part of it). I’m going to try this with my 4-year old this weekend as well, and see if it works!

    My oldest child has balance problems and we’ve wondered how to make bike riding understandable to her – I’m going to try this TONIGHT!

  12. I knew it. Way to go Sean!

    And I’ll be sure to try this on my four-year-old this weekend. His seven-year-old sister just started riding without training wheels. (She didn’t get a bike until last year.) So now he wants to try.

  13. Wow! I never thought of taking off the pedals. I had always encouraged my kids to coast down the driveway over and over, to get the balance. But no pedals? Brilliant!

  14. We figured this trick out, quite accidentally, a few months ago with my 6 year old, although without taking off the pedals. I will definitely take them off when we try it with my 4 year old.

    I never used a helmet as a child either, so Iโ€™m somewhat embarrassed to say I donโ€™t really care much about it. Although Iโ€™ll admit my kids always wear one, if only so the other parents in the neighborhood donโ€™t think Iโ€™m the Worst Parent Ever!
    Now, if I see someone riding a bike with no shoes on? I march right up to them and make them walk their bike home and PUT ON SOME SHOES! I cut off 2 toes riding my bike barefoot when I was 7. Just thinking about someone riding barefoot makes me cringe.

    Guess I outta introduce myself since this is my first time commentingโ€ฆ Iโ€™m another antique mommy (45) from VA that has been reading your blog for about a year now. I must say that I just LOVE YOU! (not in a creepy, stalker kinda way of course!) You have such a wonderful way with words.

  15. Our son ended up riding without training wheels on his own, simply because the t.w. bent upwards enough that they were no longer helping him balance. I just happened to notice one day last spring that he was balancing on the 2 big tires and not really using the t.w. at all. At first I thought we should bend them back, because I just didn’t think a barely-5-year-old needed to have the t.w. removed. But you can never bend metal back the way it was, so they ended up actually inhibiting his ride. He asked me to take them off, so I did, and he’s never looked back.

    In fact, this worked so well, our neighbors purposely bent their daughter’s t.w. one day and poof! She was riding on two!

    Just another idea…if the lack of pedals causes concern for your child (mine would have protested since “all bikes have pedals” and it would have distracted too much from the goal at hand).

    And what’s with all the comments about helmets? Did you say that you weren’t going to use it anymore? I don’t really think mine needs it when riding in the cul-de-sac in front of our house, but it’s easier to make him wear it all the time than explaining why sometimes he doesn’t have to and sometimes he does.

    Of course, it would help if Daddy followed this parenting principle too!

  16. Great tip! My 3 year old is so accident prone (like mommy like daughter) – I think I will have to file this one away for, I don’t know – another 6 or 7 years!

  17. Yay for Sean! And the commenter who saved his poor little four-year-old knees from certain pain! What a good idea too– I never would have thought of taking the pedals off!

  18. Glad Sean is riding now. Remember that I seconded that no pedals idea ๐Ÿ™‚

    But please, please, have him wear a helmet! Yes, we all say we survived without wearing one as children because the ones who didn’t survive are gone or too injured to comment here!

    I know a 7 yo while riding in front of his own house who flipped over his handlebars, landed on his head and cracked his helmet right in half. He ended up with a mild concussion but it would have been so much worse without his helmet.

    All the serious adult riders wear helmets. Little kids are so much more likely to fall and they lead with their heads!

    Do what you want with the knee and elbow pads. Skinned knees will heal, but head injuries often don’t!

  19. Bike riding 101, are all bikes equiped with hand brakes? I remember having to back pedal to brake, Hmm, hand brakes for little children are they really that coordinated that they can balance, pedal and use hand brakes? Safety is always an issue with bikes, my son required six stitches to the chin when he fell off his bike,the head is the heavest part of the body so it usually hits something first.That was a learning experience for our family.Bikes can be very dangerous tools we give to our children. On a very sour note, tragedy struck our friends when their 10 year old daughter went beyound their driveway into the street to turn around and was hit by a speeding drunk driver.
    Good Luck to Sean and parents(AD&AM), but please do be careful,enjoy life & God Bless.

  20. I’m giving my 2 cents on the helmet discussion–I never wore a helmet and I made it through childhood just fine, but not every kid did. And when I was younger I never wore a seat belt and when I was a kid we moved around all over the car and climbed all over the seats and I am just fine. But many of the ones who didn’t are not able to write comments on blogs like I am. I have a beautiful 25 year old niece who I can e-mail or talk to whenever I want–because on a sunny day about 12 years ago, she wore a helmet. If she hadn’t, I would be telling a different story today. I’m glad I don’t have to.

    And folks who say it is okay to ride without a helmet if it is right in front of your house–the last time I checked the sidewalk was just as hard in front of my house as it is a few blocks away.

    I think I’ll get off of my soapbox now.

  21. Oh. My. Goodness! Enough about the helmet! We all know the benefits of helmets! The boy just doesn’t have one on in this picture. We all have our secrets: Sometimes my boy doesn’t wear a helmet, sometimes I don’t put sunscreen on him, I’ve never been very good about making sure he gets enough sleep. And the list goes on…..

  22. What a good idea! My boys learned really quickly with the seat very low like that, but those pedals can sure bash you in the shins as you scoot along. Now, where’s that nephew of mine?

  23. Go Sean!!! Lauren learned to ride a two wheeler this last week too!!

    Now she and her little neighbor friends (who also learned last week) ride in circles as their mother and I gasp and cringe with every turn.

    Have fun!

  24. We learned this trick on Sesame Street, as the kids in Holland (where bike riding is mandatory or something) get a wooden, 2 wheeled bike w/no pedals at age 3. Once they master the art of pushing it along the parents move them up to a real bike. They must look at us trying to teach our older kids like we’re insane.
    None of this works if the child isn’t that interested, which is the case with our oldest. She likes messing around with the whole thing, but really she likes the extra attention from mom & dad, so she’s not that motivated to move to the next step. sigh.

  25. Oh, the beauty of blogs, people can say whatever they want, because you can’t actually hunt them down and find their flaws and chew them out for being negligent parents.
    Most of us know you are a great and careful mother for your son and trust your judgement on your parenting.
    My neighbors think climbing trees is deadly and would come to my door when they’d see my child in the tree. Until I finally asked them if they climbed trees, and amazingly they not only climbed them, but had FOND memories of doing it!

  26. Yes, it IS exciting!! You beat me to commenting about it…it worked great!! And Lily is so happy with herself! Thanks for sharing this idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Now that it’s turning cooler, the bikes come here. My 10 year old is so busy trying to pedal, he doesn’t balance. I’m so excited to try this!

  28. We are so trying this on Friday! My dd is almost 6 and afraid to take the tw off, we ended up taking them off for about 30 mins last weekend, but she has trouble with the balance too. So I actually suggested to my husband to let her push herself with her feet for a while, he just glared at me and asked who was doing this, him or me! I’ll be showing him this post definitely!! Thanks! And maybe we’ll get our 3yrold off his trike before winter too!! Yay for blogger networking!

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