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Would you hire someone to teach your kid to ride a bike?

Posted by on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:16 PM
  • 312 Replies
1 mom liked this

 

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Question: Would you hire someone to teach your kid to ride a bike?

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Too busy to teach your child to ride a bike? Outsource it!

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Cherished parent-child memory, or a major time suck? Some parents are outsourcing the job of teaching kids to ride a bike.

Teaching your child to ride a bike is so passé. You may think it’s your job to teach balancing, pedaling, and braking, but busy parents now have options.

Canadian writer Rebecca Eckler recently confessed to hiring a professional bike-riding counselor to school her daughter in the ways of training wheels and banana seats. Oh, the horror, right? What’s next — a professional Tooth Fairy and an after-school nurse to kiss boo-boos?

The future of parenting is outsourcing!

Nick Pavlakis from Vancouver, B.C.-based Pedalheads says the bicycle instruction business is booming because parents don’t have time and they lack skills. “A lot of parents come to us and they’ve tried on their own and found it to be quite a struggle.”

In Eckler’s case, squeamishness drove her to seek help. She couldn’t stand the thought of watching her kid fall, and argues in a post on Mommyish that hiring someone to teach bike riding is no different than doing the same for swimming or music. “At the end of the day, she knows how to ride a bike. End of story,” she told TODAY Moms. But her post sparked mommy judgment. Why? “I think it’s just because a lot of people don’t know something like this is available,” she said.

Bike New York offers free bike-riding programs in city parks, summer camps, and after-school programs in New York City. No one seems to be outraged about that. Communications Manager Dan Suraci says demand for instruction is huge. Their weekend classes — and the waitlist — are always full.

“Our instructors teach every weekend so they know the common problems and can easily teach to overcome those,” Suraci said. He also credits the group dynamic. “Kids have a way of relating to other kids. When they get something and are energized about it, they share with each other.”

Bike riding and big moments

Rhonda Franz of Parenting Squad is a mother of three and holds a Master's Degree in Education, specializing in early childhood development. She doesn’t think it matters who teaches a child the actual skill of riding a bike. She agrees with Pavlakis and Suraci that it's often easier for children to learn together with their peers than it is for mom or dad to teach a skill.

“We teach them so much, and they're just tired of us,” says Franz. “If another person can more effectively teach a child a skill rather than a parent, who can argue with that?”

Still, she said, it does matter who's present for that major milestone in a child's life.

“The experience creates a memory for parents and children — something they'll miss out on if it is outsourced,” Franz said. She encourages moms and dads to consider that before handing off the responsibility to someone else. 

Diane Mizota told TODAY Moms she might have hired out if she’d known she had the option, but is happy that she didn’t. As a single working mom in Los Angeles, Mizota always thought her ex-husband would be the one to teach their son to ride a bike. When that didn’t happen, she questioned whether she was up for the challenge. 

Remembering the moment she finally let go of that seat, she writes, “I'm still claiming a major mommy victory. I overcame my mental block and earned the bragging rights and discovery that there is no feeling in the world like watching your kid ride a bike for the first time.”

Parenting is not as easy as riding a bike

Parents know that teaching a child to ride a bike can be difficult. Maybe that’s because you can’t really teach them. All we can do is support them while they learn. As in all things parenting, we are powerless over what happens after we let go. Sometimes we have to watch them fall. We can’t outsource that.

But what do I know? I subcontracted the whole thing to my husband.

Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA. Her writing is featured regularly in family and parenting magazines throughout the United States and Canada. She blogs about marriage, motherhood, and life-after-40 at After the Bubbly.

New World Peace

by on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:16 PM
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Replies (1-10):
momma2b2008
by Bronze Member on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:17 PM
15 moms liked this
Now that is seriously a waste of money!!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:18 PM
28 moms liked this

 Not for being too busy, but I would if I were disabled and a single mom and had no one else to help me do it.

collectivecow
by Gold Member on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:19 PM
18 moms liked this

I'm never too busy to teach my child something new.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:20 PM
10 moms liked this

When I read this, I thought this was ridiculous but you do have a point.

Quoting TruthSeeker.:

 Not for being too busy, but I would if I were disabled and a single mom and had no one else to help me do it.


New World Peace

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM
1 mom liked this

I can agree that kids learn a lot from their peers. I can also agree that it's hard to watch your children fail or get hurt while they're learning to do things. So far I haven't outsourced any of my parental 'responsibilites' but I could have.

lizmarie1975
by Gold Member on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:21 PM
15 moms liked this

Why not? The mother in the article is right...parents have no problems putting their kids in swimming lessons...what's wrong with them hiring someone to help teach their kid to ride a bike and know all the safety rules.


futureshock
by Ruby Member on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM
6 moms liked this

I can't wait to see who gets horrified by this, lol.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:25 PM
6 moms liked this


Quoting TruthSeeker.:

 Not for being too busy, but I would if I were disabled and a single mom and had no one else to help me do it.

While I don't hire someone to help my children learn something new I rarely turn down help from the neighborhood. Our neighbor loves playing soccer with our kids and it's not something I have a desire to do. I love to bake and do crafts and often invite the neighbor kids over to help because it isn't something my neighbors do. My husband and I aren't very athletically inclined and we will rely heavily on coaches and others to help our children hone their skills.

survivorinohio
by René on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:26 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting TruthSeeker.:

 Not for being too busy, but I would if I were disabled and a single mom and had no one else to help me do it.

Yep, I am blessed to have an ex soninlaw that takes on all that physical stuff.  Though I can manage a game of horse once in a while I would have never been able to teach B to ride a bike, nor could my hubby.

I absolutely would have considered paying someone had I not had G.

How far you go in life depends on your being: tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of both the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you would have been one or all of these.  GeorgeWashingtonCarver


lilblu399
by Bronze Member on Sep. 1, 2012 at 10:30 PM
2 moms liked this
I would consider it. Currently my 4yo doesn't know how to ride, I've tried and he seems less and less interested, he rater take his scooter then ride his bike. My son on a bike would mean better excersice for him plus we could get to where we need to be faster, we walk or take public transportation when needed.
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