There’s nothing quite like sharing the joy of CFMOTO CFORCE ATVs with your kids and teenagers. Watching them ride down the trails, your teens operating their ATV completely on their own, fostering their own independence—it all can make a parent very proud. Spending time with family is also always a plus, and it’s a great way to unwind for everyone after a stressful week at work or school. Time spent in nature can ease anyone’s nerves, and playing outside is good for the family.
However, all this isn’t to say that the relationship between children and ATVs is smooth sailing all the time; some children don’t take to off-road vehicles right away. For example, even after the legally required safety courses have been passed, your child or teen still might be extremely fearful to ride on their own, and if they do, they may refuse to even break 20 miles per hour. Moreover, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there exist the fearless children who struggle to follow safety rules and don’t seem to know their own limits. Both these types of kids can quickly turn a relaxing ATV ride into a headache-inducing nightmare for parents and fellow riders.
Fortunately, CFMOTO, an ATV and UTV manufacturer, is here to help. Read on to discover how to share the joy of ATV riding with your children—no matter what type of kid you have.
Important note: Each state has different laws in place for the minimum ATV riding age for children under 18. Be sure to research the minimum riding age for children in your state to be sure you’re following the law.
The Nervous Nellie: Encouragement is Key
Do you have to force your child to come riding with you? Do they lag behind the rest of the group when you’re cruising down the trails? Are they always the last to cross unfamiliar obstacles, due to their anxiety, or do they get teary when the group decides to tackle an unfamiliar trail? If so, you might have a Nervous Nellie on your hands.
Some degree of nervousness when your child begins to ride is normal. After all, learning to use a brand new vehicle can be a little scary, even for adults! However, if the nervousness is pervasive and is preventing your child or fellow riders from making safe choices or enjoying their rides, it is time to take action as a parent and ATV enthusiast—gentle, encouraging action, but action nonetheless.
How can you encourage a nervous kid to find their bravery and learn to enjoy the ride?
● Try not to express explosive frustration. Of course, as a fan of CFMOTO ATVs and side-by-sides, you no doubt love your riding experience; you might find it difficult to relate to a child who doesn’t yet feel this way. As frustrating as it might be that you’re struggling to get through to them, never take your emotions out on your child—especially in front of others or on the trails themselves. You want riding to be a pleasant experience, not one associated with parental disappointment or harsh discipline.
● Have a conversation with them. Away from the trails, sit down with your child and discuss what makes them so scared of ATV riding. Meet them where they are emotionally, not where you wish they would be, and express that you only want to share the joy of riding ATVs with them. Perhaps you can find common ground by sharing a situation where you too were scared, but found your confidence and worked through it. You’ll be surprised what simply talking your child’s fear out can do.
● Set manageable goals. Achieving a goal instills a sense of confidence in your child, encouraging them to be a little braver next time around. For the nervous rider, ATV-related goals might be breaking their top speed (as long as doing so is safe, legal, and within their abilities), or leading the group in familiar territory for a short time. Celebrate these goals once achieved, and praise your child for finding bravery, even in the tiniest of shreds, and even if they didn’t fully meet their goal for that day.
As you know, riding in CFMOTO ATVs and side-by-sides is a safe, exciting way to enjoy the great outdoors. With a little encouragement and structure, your nervous child can learn to see this too.
The Daredevil: Teach Them Their Actions Have Consequences
Does your kid whip around turns with a little too much zeal to be safe? Do they refuse to slow for pedestrians and constantly insist on being in the lead? If so, your kid might be a daredevil. They are brash and show no fear, as opposed to the nervous rider, but need to learn what it means to share the trail respectfully.
As a diehard outdoor enthusiast, you want to keep riding a safe and fun experience for everyone. What do you do when your child repeatedly insists on taking the “safe” out of that equation?
● Enforce consequences. Misbehaving, no matter if it’s at home or on an off-road vehicle, is misbehaving, plain and simple. Set clear boundaries and limits for your children, and hold them to any consequential punishment they may receive.
● Explain the “why” behind your limits. Even adults don’t like pointless rules! Always explain why a limit is put into place with your children, as it helps them to respect that limit.
● Find ways to connect with your kid. It’s wonderful that they enjoy riding as much as you do. Match their brash spirit while also respecting safety rules to create an example that your child will want to look to.
Hit the Trails with CFMOTO
There’s still time to get out on the trails this year with the whole family in tow. If you’re looking for the strongest and most reliable ATVs and side-by-sides on the market, find your nearest CFMOTO dealer today.