Welcome to these monthly series on engaging your siblings of different age group into activities.
As your younger child grows, you will notice how he/she is more interested being around your older sibling. And if you have older/younger siblings of your own, you will definitely remember how it was for you.
Sometimes it gets really hard to manage the mood around sharing something that a younger sibling can’t or shouldn’t have. It can blow into a huge drama which causes stress for everyone.
Today I want to bring up such simple activity as Riding a Bike. We have a tricycle for our toddler and a “big girl’s bike” for our preschooler. However, as fun as either one is for each of them, there is always a drama whenever the older one wants to ride her own bike. So under strict supervision we’ve been letting the older one ride the younger one on various bikes we’ve encountered.
Please don’t judge too hard seeing that there are no knee/elbow pads or helmets: we are watching “like hawks” and whenever such joint riding happens it is in safe places and at a very slow speed.
Some tips on riding bikes with siblings:
1. Of course, supervision. Until certain age it is a 100% supervise activity by an adult.
2. Discuss with your older sibling and ask for some opinions on how to organize this activity (some suggestions of course won’t be acceptable but the child will be heard and feel important – we always have to listen to our children!).
3. Younger sibling should be old enough to sit unsupported and be able to hold onto the bike or the older sibling. So I personally wouldn’t recommend this activity unless the younger sibling is around 1.5 years old.
4. Choose safe places, free of traffic, where you can easily enjoy riding the bike.
5. Don’t let yourself get too frustrated if the siblings are starting to act up (spoken by a mom who’s been there and done that, as in got frustrated) – put a stop to the activity and divert their attention. You can always try later.
6. Let the siblings take “turns”: at some point the little one would want to be in the lead. You can assist him/her by supporting and moving the bike while the older one enjoys being ridden around.
In my humble opinion, everyone should own a bike. It is such a great hand-eye-leg coordination development device plus it teaches the child to focus and concentrate. It is also a very healthy way to exercise.
I hope you find these tips useful!
Varya @ Creative World of Varya
Varya blogs at “Creative World of Varya” about nurturing creativity, multilingualism, multiculturalism, craft, art, cooking, parenting and character education. She is a mom of 2 (soon to be 3!), an early educator, perinatal fitness and baby massage trainer, currently residing in the South of China with her family.