The best way to teach a child bicycle safety and obeying traffic rules is to do it in readiness levels. As the child masters the most basic skills, you can proceed to the next more difficult level. You may decide to do it for your child as in the following tips.
1. When bike and child are together for the first time, demonstrate how to get on and off. Do it as a fun experience of parent and child together. Don’t get angry at false starts, slips and falls. Encourage your child and praise any progress. If you have your own bike, go along with each short ride, or walk directly along next to the child’s bike. There will be some slips and bumps, but you’ll always be right there to prevent injury.
The first day’s lesson can be inside on living room carpet or outside on a flat grass lawn, so those inevitable on and off falls won’t cause injuries. Consider a bike helmet from the beginning of the lessons, so the child will get used to wearing it for later needs in traffic, on the way to school and other potentially dangerous situations.
2. If your child is just three or four years old, attach training wheels for safety, and to allow more confident riding until balance and skills make the wheels unnecessary. Also, as the child progresses, when there’s the need, adjust the bike seat, bars and pedals at the most comfortable height and position.
3. Before you allow the child to ride beyond your home or apartment house area and driveway, be sure to emphasize all traffic safety rules and potential dangers. This is necessary wherever you live, but absolutely vital if you’re in a busy urban neighborhood.
Discuss the rules many times with your child, and if there’s any straying from them, be sure to correct errors. If problems persist, you may think the lesson will be learned by restricting bike riding or taking the bike away briefly as punishment.
4. As bike riding gets more skilled and is about to involve venturing out on streets, consider signing your child up for a bike safety course at the local school or police station. Bike safety is critical, especially in busy urban areas where dangers are constantly present. Traffic rules must be thoroughly understood by your child and observed at all times.
Teaching your child bicycle safety and traffic rules is a necessary and never-ending responsibility for parents.