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  1. #1
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    9 Year Old Crying While She Rides

    My kids and I ride six miles most days. My 9 year old is short for her age and rides a bike with 20" wheels. (I have a ladies bike with a 13" frame just waiting for her to grow into it, but she's about 6" too short). We let her set the pace for all of us. There are some days when she is fine riding, and other days when she will just start crying while she rides. If I ask if she's tired or wants to go home (we ride a large circle through the neighborhoods, but there are always ways to get home faster), she says no. She can't explain why she's crying, nothing hurts and she's not having trouble breathing. I thought it might be related to the heat, but today was a perfect day for riding and it happened again.

    I don't even know how to ask her doctor about this, because it will sound like I'm somehow pushing her too hard. Is this something other kids do, ever?

  2. #2
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Just a shot in the dark, but it could be wind. I know I sometimes tear up and look like I'm bawling if the wind is just right on the bike. It doesn't even take much to bring the tears either; it normally happens at a snails pace when I am riding a MUP or sidewalk.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

  3. #3
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    That's a good thought, I know I have problems with wind in my eyes.

    I asked my daughter though and she said it's not wind in her eyes making them water, but actual crying.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pico Triano's Avatar
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    That's baffling. My kids cried on bike trips occasionally but there was always an easy explanation. Usually it was some kind of sibling rivalry dispute.
    http://picoscycling.blogspot.ca/ An online touring magazine

  5. #5
    Senior Member metz1295's Avatar
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    I'm gong with tears of joy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Could be an allergy of a similar involuntary action.

    If she is not unhappy I don't see that much of a problem,unless it is so bad she has trouble seeing where she is going.

    IF she is good with water in the face rinsing and then drying her face might be something to try. IF, if she is not it could create a situation where she really is unhappy.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  7. #7
    Eclecticaleliptic! Mainframeguy's Avatar
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    When we've ruled out the physical then we have to look elsewhere, I guess. And it is a big ask for a nine year old to have emotional self awareness and be able to articulate it..

    I can't help thinking that setting the pace and making a circular route might be placing a bit of a burden on nine year old shoulders - my own daughter was always happiest following along with occasional spurts to lead us on our tandem.

    It might be hard for her to opt out of an activity that brings the rest of the family together. Does she like skating or riding a scooter and could that give her a way to join in? Just a thought.
    Riding; Ridgeback Voyage 2011 called "Voyager"
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    Tandemming; '95 'dale Los Dos / MT2000 (iridescent grape!) called "Derek"!

  8. #8
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    I'm thinking it might be an emotional thing...she's always been more stressed than her sister, and this has been an unusually stressful year for the whole family.

    She might not tell me if she didn't like riding, but I think she does. She's been riding since she was two, she picked out her current bike (she was reading the bike ads every day on Craigslist) and she was able to tell us all the reasons it would be a better fit for her than the bike she already had which was the same size.

  9. #9
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could find a really cool place to go cycling and take her there. Maybe a new adventure would be fun.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    this turned into a ramble, jump to the end. sorry I don't have it in me to edit this all down

    one of the first things about parenting was not to offer parenting advice to other parents. such as talking to another parent about how their kid was behaving at the playground or telling some kid how to share a toy or not share etc. but I want to help and the thoughts I have to share are that I once read about how kids hesitate to share when they are disappointed. meaning they are disappointed when they don't get to do something they were expecting like going to a county fair, but will say: "that's ok" likewise they don't want to disappoint their parents, meaning she wants to do something else but since the whole family is doing one thing she will say: "that's ok" of course I have absolutely no idea about your family only you do but maybe this is something that will help understand what's going on.

    when my kids were reluctant to do things I knew they would eventually appreciate like learning to ride, or riding a longer distance or doing a group nature hike they weren't interested in their Mom and I tried to incorporate something they did like into the plans. like for example the obvious, biking to Ben and Jerry's ice cream shoppe

    anyway good luck, they very fact that you are reaching out looking for suggestions, and let her set the pace is evidence you are a great parent. also have you tried letting her take a different place in line besides leading? keep the pace that's good for her but take the pressure of leading off her shoulders. I know when I'm being followed I feel like I have to judge everyone else pace in line. I have practice so I know how to to this but maybe she feels like she is disappointing everyone by going slower than they want. when our son or even Mommy wanted to go faster I let them go ahead and I stayed back with our daughter. no pressure on the group to stay together just in sight. wow too much to write. really, good luck! kids cry for difference t reasions maybe she knows if she cries she'll get symnpathy and you won't be disappointed with her for going slower than the group wants to go? I'm really just guessing and that makes me uncomfortable, really good luck!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Senior Member gdhillard's Avatar
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    I think that kids, and adults, can sometimes get some emotions out when they are getting exercise. One of the reasons exercise is helpful is it quiets the noise of our thinking, and that sometimes allows some feelings to surface that might not have made it to the top otherwise. I would give your daughter the space to cry when and if she needs to, and having asked if everything is OK, and if she wants to keep going, I would allow her to continue the ride if that is what she wants.
    That being said, if she is leading the pack, she may push herself harder for fear of holding others up. While having the slowest member in point is good in many ways, it can make for some pressure on that leader. I might try slowing things down, taking more breaks, and looking to see if she is worn out more than the others, or maybe taking the lead and making it slow. See if that changes things..
    I also carry a bungee cord in my saddle bags, and give my 8 year old a tow when he asks, and I think he needs it.

  12. #12
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    Tears of joy. I would let her know that she can come to you in confidence with anything, and that she very brave and strong, that you are proud of her. Be there for her. I'm confident she will come around.

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