Persuading a reluctant 5yo

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Re: Persuading a reluctant 5yo

Postby ratherbeintobago » 31 Aug 2019, 11:21am

Went out for a pint with one of the other dads and he was saying his kids just aren’t interested either.

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Mick F
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Re: Persuading a reluctant 5yo

Postby Mick F » 1 Sep 2019, 11:21am

When we woz kids, playing outside with friends was the only entertainment until telly started at half-four ish - Children's Hour. Bed at 7 or 8pm. Playing out meant all sorts of fun, and bikes were good part of it. Small step into adolescence and adulthood and still riding a bike.

These days, children have all sorts of entertainment going on almost 24/7. Riding a bike isn't a priority for them perhaps.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Persuading a reluctant 5yo

Postby Si » 1 Sep 2019, 1:33pm

I find that most kids want to do cycling....when the rest of their class are doing the same. As has been said, peer pressure is a wonderful thing.

When they come to us as individuals with parents in tow it can be a different story. And it's sometimes the case that we spend as much time trying to alter the behaviour of the parents as we do teaching the kiddies to ride! You can understand the frustration a parent feels: has just bought an expensive bike for the child (e.g. £50 from Halfords...not much money to a 'serious cyclist ', but loads to someone who sees it as a kids' toy), can see all the other kids riding, has spent hours and hours trying to get his/her kid to ride and the kid just appears less and less then we have to be very diplomatic and try to get the parent to encourage and make it fun rather than just standing there and bad temperedly shout "ride the %^&%^& thing" at the kid.

Example a: father and kid (about 10). Apparently they'd been trying for weeks with no success. Farther stands there openly complaining to us that kid is putting no effort in, is useless, etc. Kid throws bike on floor and screams "You're just a bully and I quit" before going off for a cry. So I take the dad for chat in the corner while my co-worker takes over with the kid....friendly, understanding discussion with dad reveals that the dad really loves the kid, really wants him to be able to cycle but is as much frustrated with himself for not being able to teach the kid as he is with the kid for not riding, and we agree that positive encouragement and fun are the way forward....and that if the kid gets distracted by a cat walking past then it's fine for him to go play with the cat and then come back to trying to ride, etc. Half an hour later, with a little help from my co-worker and encouragement from dad the kid is flying round the playground on his bike!

Example 2: father and kid (about 6). Father very encouraging and positive, goes through all the steps like we have shown him, but 20mins later the dad is still running at the side of the kid holding onto him. Another takes over holding the kid, while I explain to the dad that the kid is perfectly safe and can balance well, at which point co-worker lets go of kid, dad nearly has a heart attack and kid carries on happily cycling around the play ground while dad calms down and comes to terms with the fact that the kid is not going to come to any harm and that he can ride!

Anyway, I believe I've digressed! Here's a've got a kid who, despite your encouragement doesn't appear interested in the bike that you've shoved in front of them. What you naturally do next is ask them "Why don't you want to learn to ride?", it's a perfectly reasonable thing to ask isn't it. But sometimes what the kid hears is "what's wrong with you that you can't do this simple thing", and this makes them even less likely to want put any effort in. So why not ask something like "what can we do to make this more fun?".

It's also worth having a go with the British Cycling "Ready Set Ride" stuff, which intersperses time on the bike with fun activities off the bike that will help them ride. This isn't meant as a linear course that you follow through all the stages, rather as a set of tools from which you pick the bits that will help you and your kid.

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Re: Persuading a reluctant 5yo

Postby pjclinch » 2 Sep 2019, 11:02am

Si wrote:I find that most kids want to do cycling....when the rest of their class are doing the same. As has been said, peer pressure is a wonderful thing.

In Dundee we recently ran a "Cycle-tastic Fun Day" in a local park, and while there were things like Doctor Bike and led rides for those that wanted them, much the most popular thing was a pile of bikes to just get on and go (round a portable pump track or just around the place). Faced with lots of kids having fun on bikes, other kids wanted in too. One wee girl arrived on stabilisers, and left not needing them. One carer was quite surprised to see another girl zooming around with the best race-face I've seen for years, didn't know she could ride a bike!
There were instructors there to lend a hand (as I did with making stabilisers a thing of the past), but for the most part we just kept an eye on folk and gave the odd tip. It really is the case that you can do too much.

Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...