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Biking With Kids

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Father riding a tandem bike with his two children.
Father riding a tandem bike with his two children.

Brightening Summers

Children across the nation get excited for summer.AND Being away from school is an exciting break for most. For children in foster care, the summer does not always carry the same sense of comfort and peace. (AS CAREGIVERS,)Whether we are a caregiver, parent, or volunteer to a child in foster care, we can benefit our children by brightening their summers with fun and exciting experiences.

Summer is a great time to embrace new activities and experiences with our children. (Biking with them may be a way of caring for their physical and emotional needs.) Biking is a way to have fun with them while caring for their physical and emotional needs in ways that they may not have been cared for previously.

Physically, biking benefits children by building their muscle strength and overall fitness levels. They may not have a full grasp on the benefits of this activity, but biking often can increase a child’s energy levels, as well as their heart health.

Relieving Stress

Physical activity can be a great stress reliever. When children must enter new environments, this can be overwhelming. Engaging them in physical activity can help them clear their minds. Listening to music while riding bikes may further aid in stress relief. Biking with your child around the neighborhood can help familiarize them with their new environment in a less stressful way. Sticking to a consistent schedule (going on a bike ride at the same time every day) can bring a beneficial stability to their lives that they may need.

Biking is also a great way to connect and build a relationship with your kids in a non- overwhelming way. A simple activity like this one provides them with new positive experiences that they can now share with you. For children who have experienced trauma, filling their lives with positive and safe memories and experiences can have a major impact on their mental health.

Starting Stability

When a child is in foster care, many elements of their lives are often out of their control. A benefit of learning a skill like riding a bike is that it gives them something to take control and ownership of. Having a set of wheels that they can navigate, and control can show them that they are worthy of being trusted, and that they are capable of learning new things.

If biking is new to a child, it might be overwhelming at first. If the child is young enough, it may be beneficial for them to ride along with their caregiver in a carrier or wagon first or learn to ride with training wheels. This will help them build trust and can give parents an opportunity to show their child that they want to protect them and keep them safe while helping them grow.

It is common knowledge that the skill of riding a bike is not easily forgotten. Like many things, by teaching our children how to ride a bike, we are equipping them with a capability that they can take with them wherever the Lord leads them. Even if they are only in our lives for a short period of time, this is an impact that can continue to serve them after that time has ended.

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