Try having them follow you when riding. when you stop they will have to stop or they will run into you. They might run into you a couple of times but if you stress to them that this is bad then they might start using the brakes. Just keep at it. they will learn.
1) Get a bag of M&M's or Hershey Kisses.
2) Set up a set of cones at the end of a 50' run (make sure there is room after the cones.
3) Have them drive as fast as they can (or as fast as you want) at the cones and stop with their tires between them.
4) If they succeed, give them some chocolate (if they fail, you might want to eat it yourself)
Once they have that down, have them not stop until they REACH the cones, then reward them each time they reduce their stopping distance (quick stop practice).
You can even move to stopping in a turn and such from there.
Except for the chocolate part, this is pretty much what you learn in the ATV Safety Institute's safety class. Personally, I think both kids AND adults should practice these basic skills (increase the distance for adults), you never know when you might need one. When I switched from riding utilities (unified braking on the left handgrip) to my Predator (separate braking on the right hand grip and foot) I was surprised at how poorly I stopped (I am much better now). It's a good think I practiced before hitting the trails!
Never thought of that... Will try it the next time we go out and will let you know how it does. Besides that, I think the only other problem I have is my 10 year old doesn't pay any attention to what she is doing. Last round out she ran over her brother plus ran into my girl friend's new Ford Pick up. Making her watch every one else seemed to be ample punishment, but I can't seem to get it thru her skull that she is responsible for anything that happens. Any ideas on this one?
That's certainly a tougher one. Some people never learn to look around. The term they used at the ASI training for this was SIPDE. It's an acronym that stands for (S)can the area, (I)dentify obstacles and pathways, (P)redict what will happen for each path you can follow, (D)ecide on a course of action and (E)xecute it.
We do this naturally every day when driving our cars, riding a bike, taking a walk, and riding our ATV's. The difference is the matter of speed. In our cars, on the road, with everyone going the same way and speed, SIPDE isn't as important as ATVing. While we may bike or walk down trails, the speed is so much slower than ATVing that SIPDE becomes a non-issue, but on an ATV, off road, on trails or on the track, things can happen fast and our observation skills become so much MORE important.
With my kids I began by teaching them that concept. I drilled into their heads that it is so much MORE important to be aware of their surroundings on an ATV because the danger was so much greater than their other activities.
You might try some visual demonstrations. After talking with her about the importance of extra vigilance necessary for ATV riding you can have her try lifting the ATV. She won’t be able to as even the small ones are over 200lbs. Let her try for a while, though, from both the front and the back. This should illustrate to her just how much heavier this piece of equipment is than her bicycle (which she probably CAN lift). If you have access to pumpkins or watermelons or some other squashable item that you don’t mind sacrificing, run them over with the machine. While a human head is a little more resilient than a gourd, it can still illustrate the destructive potential of the machine.
Did she scratch or dent your girlfriend’s truck? If so, make her PAY for it. Perhaps not all of it, but have her do some things for you or your girlfriend (clean her truck, etc) that are real work so she understands that her actions have consequences. Have her do some things for her brother too (like clean his room). This may seem a little harsh, but it prepares her for “real” life as an adult.
Set up an obstacle course for her and you to ride. Make sure there are turns and different courses she can take. Then when she rides, watch her head, see where she’s looking. If she’s not looking where she’s going, if she goes too fast around an obstacle she can’t SEE past (like a car or building), if she does ANY thing that seems unsafe to you, stop her IMMEDIATELY and explain to her the possible consequences. You may have to limit the ATV’s speed to a crawl to do this, but it’s extremely important for her to learn this skill. I won’t let a child under my supervision ride that doesn’t show proper attention (and I have had to pull some off the machine on occasion).
When my daughter does ride, she looks straight ahead... I mean tunnel vision straight.I swear she is so stiff that you could bounce pennies off of her.
Where we go riding, there is a course for the kids. We purposefully get a campsite that is big enough that the little ones have a built in course, very feasable to put 10 campers at the site, we've had 5). The last trip out with her was the worst. First she wasn't paying attention to where her brother was, and ran over his foot, then in a near fender bender with another couples child ran into their truck. Tore up the licsence plate holder. After that, the bike was taken away. She did get her choice of punishments for the incident with her brother, and I thought she had been chewed on enough it wouldn't happen again.
When I take her onto the dunes, I can honestly say she has never ran into me or anyone else. I wonder if at the course we have set up if she doesn't get too comfortable with it and just doesn't pay attetntion as "nothing will happen".
Next time we are out, I will definately set up an obsracle course. Maybe turning the bike over for her to turn back over will be a rude awakening for her as well. If we start back from basics she will learn. Just wish there was a magic button to push.
Ya know that's actually a good idea... the water balloons thing. If she still won't pay attention to what's going on around her, you have to GIVE HER a reason. And water balloons could be just the ticket.
Your obstacle course idea is right on the money too. More parents should use that method of teaching their kids to ride.
Heck, I was out today on my Predator just riding around the mostly flat dir area near by house and here comes some little 10-year-old on a Sportsman 500. He has no concept of right or left so when he turns on the road towards me, he gets over to the LEFT side of the road (head-on towards me because I already knew he was going to turn and moved to the right) instead of just moving to the right like he should. Sheesh.
Ya know, we kinda did that.. We hid in the bushes at the dunes and pelted kids with water guns as they rode by. Was actually fun. Should've seen the fish tails my second daughter was pulling to try to avoid the water.
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