I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

24 Jan 2013

10 Reasons to Let Your Child Ride Her Bike to School

Years ago, a child riding her bicycle to school was commonplace; however the same can’t be said these days. While there are pros and cons to allowing your child to ride her bike to school, once she reaches the maturity level needed to do so, there are some reasons it may be a good idea.
  1. It is good exercise:  Kids spend hours watching TV and playing video games, and it’s nice to have a consistent reason for them to get exercise at least five days a week.  Depending on how far away from the school you live, they could be getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day.
  2. It can save you time: When your child can ride his own bike to school instead of needing you to drive him, it not only benefits him, it can also end up saving you a ton of time.  There will be no more waiting at the bus stop or waiting in the drop off line at school. While you’ll need to use alternate transportation in bad or cold weather, during the milder months you could save a few hours of transportation time each week.
  3. It can save you gas: Think of the savings you’ll have when you have to fill up less often at the pump.  Remember that it’s not just the distance to the school that takes gas; it’s the time spent sitting in line and waiting for the crossing guard too.
  4. It can eliminate the need for special arrangements: If your child has to stay late for choir rehearsal or a Girl Scouts meeting, they can ride home whenever they are finished. 
  5. It can foster a sense of independence: Riding her bike to school can give your child a sense of independence.  When a child isn’t relying on Mom to take her to school and pick her up, she’s forced to be responsible for getting where she needs to go on time
  6. It can increase responsibility: Who doesn’t want their child to be more responsible?  Every parent wants their child to learn responsibility, and riding a bike to school is one big step towards teaching that.
  7. It can make school fun: Most kids love to ride their bikes, so they’ll likely enjoy being able to ride their bike to and from school every day.  If you live close to the school, chances are your child will probably be riding to school with a bunch of friends, which is always fun too.
  8. It gives additional freedom: As your child gets older, you can give her more freedom. If you approve, your child can stop by the library after school and check out a DVD or stop and have an after school snack.  Giving your child little freedoms will make her better able to handle the bigger ones when she gets older.
  9. It provides opportunities for problem solving: When riding to school on a bike, life can get in the way.  Maybe her bike chain comes off, or maybe she witnesses another child being bullied.  It’s a good thing to let children have these experiences because they get a chance to solve their own problems instead of relying only on Mom or Dad. 
  10. It helps save the environment: It is becoming more and more important to kids to be able to do something to help save the planet.  When kids are small they often don’t think they can do much to contribute, but riding their bike to school is one big way that they can go green.
Syndicated, with consent, from http://www.findananny.net/blog/10-reasons-to-let-your-child-ride-her-bike-to-school/

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  1. Difficult issue. I rode my bike to school at a very young age. Times were significantly different and traffic was not near as insane. I believe it gives our kids independence that is often sorely lacking among helicoptering parents, but I also believe we need to really know our area and its safety concerns!

  2. I think this depends a lot on the child and, of course, how close you live to the school.

  3. I rode my bike to school everyday. I know that children today are much more obese because we do not allow them to be outside as much too. I realize that times are different but i think some of it is purely emotional. We want to believe our children aren't safe outdoors so we "can" overprotect them. My son is allowed outdoors with supervision of me or my wife. It has nothing to do with being afraid of life though, It has more to do we live on a very busy street and I don't want him to get out.

    Just my opinion of course but I think children have a lot to gain by riding their bikes to school.....

    Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders

  4. I agree with you Aaron.
    It's not nearly as dangerous as we think out there.
    I'm not going to write a long story now, but I posted something on my blog a while ago about the effect the media has on society and perceived rates of crime.
    I got it from a book called "Virus of the Mind" by Richard Brodie.
    It really puts the safety issue into perspective.
    I say ride your bike, climb a tree, fall down, run, play, hop, skip, jump, get hurt, learn, grow, progress...
    And, from my research, you're right about it being an emotional issue :)
    Don't be afraid of your opinion; I think you spot on!