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HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 11 Oct 2020, 4:44pm
by Thisishalloween86
As above really. We had just got to the point where she is really starting to balance on it and got quite zoomy on it but by no means ready for the strider world cup and now she's basically refusing to use it. I wouldn't mind but on her own request she's getting her first pedal bike without stabilisers for christmas.
She can pedal just fine as she's had a go when out on things etc but I have tried to explain that she needs to get super good on the balance bike if she wants to be able to ride the pedal bike etc etc but she takes it on board then loses interest after literally 2 minutes on the bike. To make it worse she's also just rediscovered her micro scooter and is pestering to use that instead. I'm overthinking this right? I can just try her on the new pedal bike and if she doesn't get it take the pedals off for a bit? I'm not really expecting her to be able to ride it properly right away as she'll not even be 3 but I want to give her the best chance at actually enjoying her christmas gift. Any tips on how to encourage her to ride the bb again or reassurance that she'll do just fine with the pedal bike either way would be really appreciated

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 11 Oct 2020, 5:00pm
by Cyril Haearn
Just let her do other things, children can be very contrary
Probably she shall 'rediscover' the balance bike of her own accord soon enough

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 11 Oct 2020, 5:01pm
by Jdsk
She'll get there in her own time. Give her the opportunity to ride whatever she wants to ride, and as much time as she wants withe her in a safe space.

Show her how much you all enjoy cycling.

But since you raised this when she's 2.5y... have you worked out why you're so keen to see her cycling? That might help with supporting her progress.


Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 11 Oct 2020, 11:17pm
by Bmblbzzz
Just let her ride whichever of those things, or none, she wants. Don't pressure her to be super good. She's not at school yet!

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 4:26pm
by yostumpy
tell her not to ride it, that should sort it.

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 12 Oct 2020, 6:14pm
by Thisishalloween86
yostumpy wrote:tell her not to ride it, that should sort it.

:D I can see you've dealt with 2 year olds before! In all seriousness we do tend to get a bit of success by pretending that we want to ride it. She normally jumps straight on if we do that

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 4:09pm
by DaveP
Well it might be interesting to let her "accidentally" catch you watching THE video - this one:
- but probably not too helpful!
I don't think there's any need to worry. At that age they like to try stuff, but not neccessarily for any length of time. If its fun, she'll go back when she's ready.

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 4:33pm
by thirdcrank
A couple of points:-

Balance bikes are one way of giving children the confidence to ride a bike with pedals. There's nothing to say that they have to ride a balance bike first. The Islabike one I bought had little use eventually.

It's not easy to get inside a child's head to understand their concerns and / or the root of any apparent cussedness. Comments from siblings can be significant here. Just continue to be a loving parent/ grandparent / whatever and you can do no more.

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 4:53pm
by blackhelmetredbike
Joking aside, it is the hardest thing not to push your child when you want them to experience how good something is. But you had best go into waiting mode and hope daughter feels like riding the bike sometime soon. Annoying and frustrating tho it is, resist trying to get her on it for now. But keep taking her in the garage so she is reminded that way and invite her to get on occaisionally.

As with an adult in some respects, invite, encourage and then leave the decision up to the person themself.

I have been trying to get my 14 year old to do what I think he should do. No luck. He gave up one activity probably because I leant on him too much to practice. 

And you may be wrong - your daughter may have done enough to get on the pedal bike without doing much more time on the balance bike. Before balance bikes, decades ago, all my brothers and I learnt to ride a pedal bike in a couple of hours being pushed from behind and falling off. Think of that actually being allowed to fall off. I always rushed in before my son fell off anything so he has been deprived of accident and pain, poor thing.

In fact it was probably less than 2 hours for us as I don't reckon my Dad would have spent that long runing up and down the street as he had two jobs and cricket to watch. I think we underestimate children. I certainly have with mine.

Your daughter will be great when she is ready to ride I bet.

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 6:58pm
by Cavemud
We were quite 'enthusiastic' about teaching both our kids to ride, and its definitely a fine balance between encouragement and being pushy.

The flip side of course, is that now they can both ride bikes we can have some great adventures!

With the youngest, our problem wasn't getting her to ride the balance bike, but getting her to try the pedal bike when the time came.

The strategy we used was allowing her to ride the balance bike at home (in your case the scooter), but planning in some specific journeys to the park on the pedal bike. We announced in advance she'd be taking the pedal bike, and once at the park there'd be no other options to distract her. Once home she'd go straight back on the balance bike but that was fine.

You also have to factor in lots of 'attempts' at your plan, because with a child of that age at least 75% of the time your efforts will be thwarted either because you've mistimed the nap, or food, its too cold, wet, they're in a silly mood etc etc etc.

By taking the bike out frequently the number of successful attempts increased and there was less frustration for the adults (and pressure on the kids) when we did go.

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 14 Oct 2020, 7:03pm
by Cavemud
Also, not really the question you asked, but we had great success in transferring to a pedal bike using a ratchet strap around the chest with a handle loop tied in it to for the adult

This meant we could hold the child up to set off, then gradually release tension till they're pedalling on their own. If they fall, you can stop them hitting the ground and thus make the whole experience more friendly.

I also got really fit running around the park holding the strap, because for quite a few weeks after she'd learned to ride, my daughter insisted on having the strap on as a confidence booster!!!

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 15 Oct 2020, 10:07pm
by eileithyia
Ahhh she's only 2.5.... give her chance... many do not start riding until they a bit older anyway, some might be ready earlier. I remember when my niece had her first bike (no balance bikes in those days) she wasn't always the most enthused to try it until her younger sister began to jump on it and proceed to try and ride off on it....

Seriously it maybe that she sees the balance bike as babyish (yes already) and really wants to be an adult and ride a proper bike... don't push her back on to the balance bike, get that Christmas bike and let her get on with it....
My son was 7 before he really got going on his own bike, but then he was pedalling the back of a tandem before then. Again we never had balance bikes to start him on, and as a kid I had neither a balance bike nor stabilisers, just my dad running behind me holding on to the saddle to steady me.

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 16 Oct 2020, 8:04am
by Tangled Metal
Good on her!! I hope she keeps resisting.

Let her develop, or not, at her pace. You do know it's even ok not you like riding a bike too don't you?

I'm sorry if I'm being harsh but it isn't about parents wishes but the child. In my child's case we did it all. Strider, scooter, pedal bike without and with stabilizers. He preferred scooter for awhile, strider for a bit then refused the pedal bike without stabilizers. We knew he could pedal without them because with the stabilizers he was riding just on the two wheels when flat and straight.

He then refused to ride anything. I suspect because we were simply trying too hard to encourage him to progress. You know what we did? We put his bike away until one day he asked to try it without his stabilizers. He hadn't ridden or scouted for two months or longer. He took 15 minutes and was riding his bike without stabilizers. Week after he was trying to do stunts. Seriously, one or no handed, standing on his frame, etc. He was riding bikes and doing stunts before anyone in his school class were even riding without stabilizers. After the second week of cycling we replaced his bike with a bigger and better one. Reward but also he was ready for the next size.

You know what made it work in the end for him? He just decided he wanted to ride his bike. Child led as it should always be. Encourage but learn to understand when from the child's POV it's become forcing. We're only supporting their journey not driving it.

One more point. Find other activities to give her a break too. It'll make the riding better for them to have variety.

One more point. Our son didn't ever freewheel on his strider. He basically walked it all the time. With hindsight it didn't suit. Stabilizers suited better. Balance wasn't the issue so balance bike wasn't the solution. Heresy no doubt!!

PS at 4.5 years he was touring possibly over 40 miles on some days with toys in panniers. We'd get to campsites and after 15 minutes break he'd be riding to the playground. Sure he got tired but he loved it.

The year before he was touring on a child seat in Scotland through heavy rain. He loved that too. Drink on demand by tilting head back and opening mouth. Of course he slept through more than one downpour.

All that because he still loved cycling I think because it was on his terms that he learnt to ride.

I hope my ramblings help and encourage you/ child in your cycling development. I ramble on a bit but there's a point there somewhere!!! :lol:

Re: HELP. 2.5YO won't ride her balance bike

Posted: 16 Oct 2020, 1:42pm
by Carlton green
Most of the clever stuff has been said already but here’s a comment in a similar vein. Several decades ago I was talking to a Primary School Teacher about differing rates of progress between children, whilst acknowledging that some children were more able than others she was also of the view that sometimes a child was “not yet ready” for whatever the particular event or learning point was that was being presented to them and their peers.

I understand that parents encourage children on, I certainly did, but in hindsight it’s best to be gently supportive and broadly guiding rather than pace and goal orientated.