Originally Posted by RidingMatthew
any tips on helping my daughter learn how to ride with/ without training wheels.
Buy a bike smaller than she needs, or one with a very short seat tube, for starters.
Get her started with training wheels, mainly work on brakes, steering isn't learned on training wheels well at all.
As soon as she has learned to stop and pedal effectively (takes a day?,) take the training wheels, and pedals off.
Drop the seat down so she can stand and walk flat footed. Let her coast on a very slight down grade, she should start with walking, then slowly move too a sort of jog/scooter kick. At some point she'll be able to coast down hills and turn a bit without putting her feet down. Let her do that for awhile, my daughter did it for two or three days.
Slap the pedals on, find a flat area, and get her started with a gentle push on her lower back, and she should get started easily enough.
The main thing that I found helps is applauding everything, especially crashes. I never helped my daughter up, instead congratulated her, told her what a good crash she had, assured her she's not hurt, and always made sure she picked the bike up and tried again. I also offered the pretty streamers as a reward in the beginning.
Letting them ride with training wheels for more then a short period seems to cause more damage, IMO. They're scared to ride without them, does nothing for balance, ability to turn, and the first crash w/o them makes it seem like they're needed to be safe.
The biggest reward from not reacting to her little crashes is that now she wipes out, gets right up, and keeps going. If she does bang a knee she checks it, sees there's no blood, and keeps going. Blood is still a big deal though, don't see that changing for a few years yet, but a hug gets her rolling again.