Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Family Life; Parenting with Supermam SUPERMAM Claire Walsh Is a Mum of Two Lively Youngsters, Louis and Leilah, and Leads Stockton's Parenting Strategy. She Can Help Solve Your Family Problems with Guidelines on How to Cope. Parents' Panel

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Family Life; Parenting with Supermam SUPERMAM Claire Walsh Is a Mum of Two Lively Youngsters, Louis and Leilah, and Leads Stockton's Parenting Strategy. She Can Help Solve Your Family Problems with Guidelines on How to Cope. Parents' Panel

Article excerpt

Byline: Compiled by MARIE TURBILL and JOANNE WELFORD

QMY seven-year-old son is still riding his bike with the stabilisers on. Every time I mention trying to take them off he throws a tantrum.

I think it is really embarrassing that all the other children on the street have learned to ride their bikes but he still refuses to even try. How can I get him to take the risk and learn to ride on two wheels?

ALEARNING to ride a bike for children can be a daunting experience and for some it may well boil down to simply having a complete fear of getting hurt.

There is no ideal time to teach a child to ride without stabilisers - although the usual age is around three to four years.

Teaching any child to ride a bike takes a lot of patience, time and encouragement and there are some golden rules.

It is important that the bike is a good fit for the child. Make sure they can easily and comfortably put their feet flat on the ground.

The key is to get the balance right which can only be achieved through removing the stabilisers.

Children have to learn to get this right and feel comfortable - even just sitting on the bike can help this.

Obviously, it is vital he has a helmet for safety.

Your son needs to gain confidence to try to learn.

Give him lots of support and encouragement - but it may be one of those situations where if there is little pressure he may just work it all out for himself, in his own time.

JEN LEGG, of Maltby, is mum to Mitchel, 11, step-mum to Sarah, 24, and Jonathon, 18, and step-grandma to Ellie, four. She owns The Edge hair and beauty salon in Middlesbrough.

CHILL out and let time take its course. As long as your son is getting out there with his mates, getting exercise and fresh air then leave him to enjoy it without any pressure.

The tantrums will be highlighting your son's own insecurities of being on his bike.

It is a big task to learn, with multiple skills to master.

All the time he is riding with stabilisers he will be building up his confidence and when he is ready he will let you know. …

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