You know that life lessons aren't always learned in pleasant ways. Sometimes, you have to go the hard way to learn something important. But having a child under your care is a different story. You don't want them to suffer as much as possible, especially at an early, tender age.
But you realize that a huge part of life is out of your control. You can't do much or anything with the flow of life, but you can redirect the course and make things slightly but significantly better to some degree. If it's for your child, then you're at an advantage in planning the best way for them to learn life's greatest lessons.
Still can't think of something? Then, allow us to recommend an activity that will surely help your child learn life lessons and have fun while doing it: riding the best kids’ mountain bikes! Mountain biking offers an unstructured nature of trails that allows them to explore and discover new things independently.
Mountain biking is a fun way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. At the same time, it allows you to find things, people, and experiences that you can treasure for a lifetime. It will be a meaningful experience that will significantly impact your child's growth. Here we will discuss some of the best life lessons your kid can pick up from pedaling forward and off the road.
Ten Life Lessons Your Kid Can Learn From Mountain Biking
As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like cycling. You have to pedal continuously to keep your balance.” This quote emphasizes how life-changing a casual bike ride can be. It is especially perfect for kids because they can naturally build their character while having the best time of their lives.
It's not easy to discipline children, but biking takes off a huge load from your parental obligations. After all, it will be easier for them to learn while having fun. Here's a list of ten life lessons your kid can learn from mountain biking.
Lesson #1: How to Be a Part of a Team
Mountain biking requires basic trail etiquette to ensure everyone's safety and enjoyment. Your kid will realize the importance of playing off-road as a team: greeting and respecting your fellow cyclists and conforming to the trail itself.
These rules have a safety purpose; a simple "Hi" can indicate one's location and allow others to see how they're doing, ensuring their safety before proceeding.
Lesson #2: Healthy Competitions
A friendly competition promotes team and individual growth. Your kid will learn to nurture friendships with others, appreciate them, work together to accomplish goals, help them out when in need, and motivate others.
At the same time, it also develops their individuality. Kids learn how to be a good sport: accepting defeat and flaws, making mistakes, and dusting off their shorts to move forward in life once again.
Lesson #3: Overcoming Obstacles for the First Time
Off-road biking offers challenges different from regular roads; they have more advanced and trickier trails. In these moments, it's natural to watch over the kids to ensure their safety.
In addition, it's also an excellent opportunity to witness your kid overcoming obstacles for the first time. Won't it fill your heart with joy if they managed to climb a hill or get past a tricky path unscathed?
Lesson #4: Stress Management
Children hardly ever recognize it when they're stressed. They will subconsciously show physical symptoms (e.g., unhealthy eating habits) left to your discernment. It won't be easy and quick for them to learn stress management with your constant lecturing alone, so leave some of it to outdoor magic.
Studies link outdoor experiences with lower stress levels and improved cognition. This means your kid can learn about nature's essence and recognize its healing effect. Moreover, they will learn to respond healthily against stress instead of succumbing to unhealthy habits (e.g., overeating or spending too much time in front of a computer screen).
Lesson #5: Exercise Isn't Bad
Some kids don't like physical activity. This is tough because exercise has so many physical and mental health benefits, so they're at a disadvantage. If your kid is like this, how will you debunk their perception of exercise? We say, show them a cool mountain bike and get them pedaling on it!
Biking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate exercise into your kid's daily routine (without them realizing it). It strengthens the largest muscle groups in their body and helps develop their balance. Moreover, it enhances body control and fast thinking—skills that come in handy in off-road adventures.
Lesson #6: Life Is All About Patience and Consistency
In a nutshell, kids need to learn patience and consistency if they want to progress. Mountain biking is the best way to hone these skills as it requires both of these things. It doesn't matter what type of mountain bike you choose—road or downhill—your kid will have plenty of time to practice these skills in any of them.
Once they overcome an obstacle, they will try pushing their limits further. And when they're with friends, they'll continuously find ways to get better at it. Consequently, it becomes a great outlet to familiarize themselves with challenges, consistent practice, and patience in progress.
Lesson #7: Nature Is More Than What We See on Screens
Nowadays, technology offers incredible graphics that highly resembles the outdoor world. It's one of the reasons why your kid can't take their eyes off that TV, phone, tablet, or computer at home. Still, nothing can replace the experience of being outside and having nature surround you in the flesh.
If you want your kids to pick up a good life habit, take them on bike rides and have fun with nature—this is by far one of the best lessons they can learn at an early age. They will see that there's more than what meets the eye, start to understand more about the world they live in, and learn how to enjoy its breathtaking simplicity.
Lesson #8: Embracing New Opportunities
Some of us feel hesitant in the face of new opportunities because they feel foreign to us. As a result, it becomes difficult to determine the right words and actions. Fortunately, some kids show courage even when faced with unfamiliar things; their intense curiosity conquers fear and hesitance.
It's the perfect time for them to learn how to embrace new challenges and opportunities through mountain biking! Allow your kid to discover new routes and find their way around them. Of course, when it comes to unfamiliar trails, you have to be on the lookout to ensure their safety.
Lesson #9: Work Hard, Play Harder!
One of the biggest life lessons your kid can learn from mountain biking is working hard before the fun. They have to pedal uphill before they can enjoy the exciting downhill experience. Life, in general, requires a lot of hard work to accomplish certain goals.
It takes time, effort and patience to achieve something great in life (and things will even get harder as they grow older). For that reason, mountain biking is a great way for your kid to learn such a mindset.
Lesson #10: You Can Have Fun Without Hurting Mother Nature
Last but not least, your kid can learn eco-friendly ways to have fun. For example, riders enjoy a pleasant off-road adventure in mountain biking and preserve the environment. According to Forest Service, MTB doesn't necessarily damage the environment. Rather, it promotes trail preservation.
Your kid needs to learn about sustainable living as early as possible because every moment counts. If you want to incorporate eco-friendliness into your child's playtime, mountain biking is a good choice.
A Quick Safety and Convenience Check on Good Mountain Bikes for Kids
Are you ready to let your child pick up life lessons on off-road biking trails? Before that, you need to do a quality check on the bike they will use. When looking for a good mountain bike for your child, safety and convenience should be your top priorities. Here are some things to look for when purchasing one.
Budget vs. Splurge
How much are you willing to spend on your child's bike? You don't have to break the bank to find a good one because there are cheap mountain bikes for kids that don't compromise quality. However, opting for more expensive bikes has its own perks, too.
Age and Height Measurements
Bike manufacturers conduct sizing differently, so it is best to carefully look at their specific sizing charts. You can find age-based bike buying guides everywhere, but don't rely on them alone. Age is a more generic approach, and it doesn't align with measurements that are significantly different per individual. For instance, a 26"-wheeled MTB targeting ages eight and above might not always be appropriate depending on your little one's height.
Remember, your kid will climb on steep terrains, so they should be able to handle the bike's weight. Ensure that the vehicle doesn't dominate a huge proportion of your kid's body weight. Otherwise, the experience will be inconvenient and exhausting for them.
Rigid vs. Suspension
Determining whether a kid's bike should come with suspensions or not depends on a few factors: the location of your residence and the bike trail, your budget, and how much adventure your child wants. Rigid forks, for instance, can handle gentler off-road paths. But if your kid wants more advanced trails, a kid's full suspension mountain bike will perform better.
There are only a few gender-related factors when choosing a bike, but you should still include them on your checklist. For instance, kids’ mountain bikes for girls have smaller fits and different designs than their boys’ counterparts. Take note of these pointers when choosing an MTB for your child.
Learning the Ropes of Life with Outdoor Fun
As a parent, you want your child to learn the most important lessons in life but in ways that won't force them to go through difficult paths. What better way than to start with outdoor activities that teach valuable life skills? Mountain biking is one of them!
With the right mountain bike, your kid can enjoy cycling on beautiful trails while learning about lifetime treasures: connections, self-development, and nature. The best thing is that these lessons don't apply to biking alone, but life in general too! Moreover, it is an awesome time to tighten the family bond and promote each member's individual growth.
Feel free to check out more of our articles on kid's bikes. We write about bike components and types (e.g., kids' dual-suspension mountain bikes). We also post single product reviews and roundups (e.g., the best kid's electric dirt bike with training wheels) to help you with bike-related concerns.