Stubborn Teenager won't wear helmet!



TooSore said:
Why don't you sneak up behind him and deliver a swinging overhead blow to the back of his head with a good heavy duty cycle lock?

"There - I told you that a helmet is a good idea" can be your shouted advice as you are loaded into the white van and taken away.

Good luck.
:confused: :eek: :rolleyes: ;) :) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :p
 
Drag him down to the local hospital/hospice/centre for brain-damaged gumbies. I agree, helmets are not a particularly "cool" look, but neither is drool coming out of the corner of your mouth, being spoon-fed egg custard for the rest of your life or having someone wipe your bum for you for the next 50 years.
I could show him my old Bell with 2" crack where my left temple is, courtesy of a double somersault and twist at speed, in heavy traffic, but I'm not really in the neighbourhood.
Also bear in mind that bicycle safety does not begin and end with strapping a foam pudding-basin onto your head.
 
..... oh yeah, and that photo of Fabio Casatelli in the 95 tour with his brains leaking all down the tarmac... show him that. :mad:
 
headlemk said:
I live in Colorado, which has no bicycle helmet law, not even for children! :mad: My 14 year old must ride his bike more than 8 miles to his school and refuses to wear his helmet. Any suggestions on getting him to safety-up? When I caution him that his head will split like a melon, he just says (like a typical teenager) "no it won't" like he's invincible. I can't "make" him wear it. He's bigger than I and hot tempered anyway. It's necessary for him to ride his bike to school so threatening to take it away isn't an option. His dad's no help, he doesn't like "confrontation" :rolleyes: and avoids it at all cost. Help.
Make sure the life insurance is paid up and that you are the beneficiary, and
let him know that.
 
Ask him to take part in an experiment (don't explain the experiment in advance):


1) With his back facing you, punch him in the head (how hard you punch is up to you)
2) Repeat, this time with a helmet on (his head)

Ask him which one hurt more.

Now ask him to take part in another experiment (this time, explain the experiment before you start):

1) Get him to ride into the front of a car. Make sure his head hits the windscreen
2) Repeat, this time with a helmet on (his head)

Ask him which one hurt more, if he makes it to step 2.

Now, he will be able to make an informed decision :)
 
I don't know if you can get your kid to read this or pay attention to it, but I have been riding a bicycle to work for several years now here in Norfolk, VA. I always wear a helmet. I am currently on my third. The reason that I am on my third helmet is that if I am in an accident where my head strikes the ground I buy a new helmet because the helmet from the accident is not fully reliable after striking the ground hard.

A few years ago I was hit by a car. I was riding across the Naval Base on my way home from work with a trailer full of groceries, and a young young lady made a left turn out of the oncoming traffic lane and hit me broadside. I was Knocked to the ground and my head struck the ground pretty hard. I was not baddly hurt and there was only a couple hundred dollars damage to my bike and gear. I bought a new helmet to replace the one that protected me even though I couldn't see any damage.

In November of 2005 I was in annother accident. I was riding in to work in the morning, heading towards the Naval Base. I was on a road that passes under an Interstate Highway, approaching where an offramp merges with the road, when the accident occurred.

I do not know what happened, because I have no memories of the accident or the first month I spent in hospitals. I am told that I wasn't having much fun, but I have no memories because of the damage to my brain.

I had a cut in the back of my head from where a part of the damaged helmet was pressed up against my head hard enough to bruise/cut my head. I also had one or two "orbital" fractures. That is the part of the skull around the eye. There was some rather severe damage to my brain from the impact and I was taken to a local hospital to have treatment and to be placed on a respirator. The respirator was because I had seven broken ribs and a punctured lung.

As I said, I don't know what caused the accident. The local police didn't really put a lot of effort into investigating the accident because the police car responded to the wrong location, couldn't find the accident, and decided that since the accident location was near an Interstate offramp, that must mean that it was on the Interstate, and so it belonged to the State Police. One person at the accident site told the ambulance personnel that I was going 25 miles per hour and hit a curb. I don't think that is right, but I will never know because the police did not investigate.

I am currently on "Limitted Duty" and am hoping to get the Doctor's to return me to full duty by July. The one thing that I know is that if I had not been wearing a helmet, I would not ever be returning to full duty, and would in all probability be dead.

I do not know if my story will get your child to start wearing a helmet, but I do know that my wife and children saw my condition and I know that my children are not going to ever ride without one.
 
I don't want to start a debate on the point, but in truth, the hard evidence supporting the effectiveness of bicycle helmets is sketchy at best. For the record, I always wear mine, but I never did when I was a kid. Heck, there was no such thing when I was a kid.

Personally, I don't think either trying to "force" the kid to wear a helmet, or frighten him into it will be effective.

The easiest way to get the kid to wear a helmet is to buy him a "cool" helmet that he'll want to wear.

For a 14 year old, I suggest a skate helmet. As long as its CPSC certified, it's fine for use while riding.

Get him something like this, that fits his taste/color preferences. and I'll bet he wears it more often than not.

http://us.st11.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/I/hardheadedsports_1882_153401
 
I agree with those who suggested talking with the wrestling coach. It's quite likely the coach will say, "No helmet, no wrestling, kid," and that'll be the end of it.

At the same time, it does make sense to explore with him (in an open-minded manner) exactly why he doesn't want to wear a helmet. If you can get to the bottom of it, there may be a mutually agreeable solution.

Bottom line, you are his parent, and do have a right to tell him what to do: "Sorry, kid, but you're not old enough to appreciate the risk you're taking, so it's my job to appreciate it for you." You can ask him, if he were a parent, would he let his 2 year old run into the street? You don't have to be mean or punitive, just firm--he has to know you mean it. His dad should join you. It's not fair for you to have to do it alone.

NuCommuter (who happens to be a child & adolescent psychiatrist)
 
Ok im 13 and what i would do is get him to walk. he will have to get up earlier to walk so it serves as a double punishment. Also, dont limit yourself to the bike, work on Tv, video games, etc. Also, the helmet maybe the problem, is it a BMX/skateboard style helmet or is it an old, ugly 20 dollar helmet even adults wouldnt wear. the style now is inspired by skateboarding which is no helmet or a skate style helmet, so, at this age, you can count on him not wearing any other style helmet unless he is a road biker, like me, in which we think road helmets are cool.
 
headlemk said:
I live in Colorado, which has no bicycle helmet law, not even for children! :mad: My 14 year old must ride his bike more than 8 miles to his school and refuses to wear his helmet. Any suggestions on getting him to safety-up? When I caution him that his head will split like a melon, he just says (like a typical teenager) "no it won't" like he's invincible. I can't "make" him wear it. He's bigger than I and hot tempered anyway. It's necessary for him to ride his bike to school so threatening to take it away isn't an option. His dad's no help, he doesn't like "confrontation" :rolleyes: and avoids it at all cost. Help.
This is not a cycling question, it's a parenting question. I can't believe you are so pathetic.

Jay
 
otherworld said:
I can't believe you are so pathetic.

As though hammering on someone who is simply seeking advice makes you meaningful and somehow more valuable?

I don't think so, mate.
 
This is what I do when I teach cycling merit badge to teenaged boy scouts.

I grab one of the smaller ones by the waist, and invert him until he absolutely upside-down, and his head is about 2 feet above the floor.

Then I ask him, "TELL ME WHEN YOU YOU WANT ME TO LET GO !"

After he squeaks or screams enough, I let him down, and I tell the entire class, THAT'S why you wear a bike helmet.

Also, my 14 year old always wears his helmet without complaint... because I do.

I think he asked once or twice why other kids didn't have to wear helmets, but he had to, I just said "because they and their parents are stupid". He accepts that answer because he likes to believe that his family is smarter than most.
 
headlemk said:
very good article. Now if I can just get him to read it. thank you
I would say that the most reasonable way to get him to ride with a helmet is to get him a helmet that he will want to wear. Go the bike store with him and let him choose one. Kids want to look cool and the reason he is most likely not wearing one is because he's afraid he'll look like a geek.

The above statements about giving him an ulitimatum will only build resentment in your child so try meeting him half way. Logicaly explain to him the dangers of riding with out one then explain that he needs to wear. Then you can tell him you will take him to choose a helmet to wear. Get him in the store and 9 out 10 times he'll pick a helmet and he'll ride with one after he knows the dangers of not using one.

You would be amazed how much just using plain logic and approaching it in the same manner you would another adult will do when talking with teenagers. I have known alot of parents use this approach in the same situation you are in and it worked for them so give it a try.
 
kf5nd said:
This is what I do when I teach cycling merit badge to teenaged boy scouts.

I grab one of the smaller ones by the waist, and invert him until he absolutely upside-down, and his head is about 2 feet above the floor.

Then I ask him, "TELL ME WHEN YOU YOU WANT ME TO LET GO !"

After he squeaks or screams enough, I let him down, and I tell the entire class, THAT'S why you wear a bike helmet.

Also, my 14 year old always wears his helmet without complaint... because I do.

I think he asked once or twice why other kids didn't have to wear helmets, but he had to, I just said "because they and their parents are stupid". He accepts that answer because he likes to believe that his family is smarter than most.
That is the most insane and abusive approach to teaching a lesson I've ever heard. Why not just bash them a couple times with a bat or humiliate him. That will probably have the same effect on him pschologicaly.
 
otherworld said:
This is not a cycling question, it's a parenting question. I can't believe you are so pathetic.

Jay

Last I checked helmets were / are directly related to cycling. Are you THAT much of a cyclosnob that you cant get off your high-cycle-horse and at least offer some kind of small piece of advice? Yeah, you were oh so helpful in this thread. And your comment, at least IMHO, make you the pathetic one here.

Jeesh. :rolleyes:
 
Trek_Rider_05 said:
Last I checked helmets were / are directly related to cycling. Are you THAT much of a cyclosnob that you cant get off your high-cycle-horse and at least offer some kind of small piece of advice? Yeah, you were oh so helpful in this thread. And your comment, at least IMHO, make you the pathetic one here.

Jeesh. :rolleyes:

Ummm no... it's a parenting issue ok? Discussing the merits of wearing a helmet is directly related to cycling. Asking advice on how to make a child in your care compliant with the law simply getting them to do what you want them to do is a parenting issue.
I can't wait for the "Stubborn teenager won't eat carrots" thread.
 
Good grief,

This boy appears to want to be fit! If he likes riding but not off road find him a road club or a track club channel that testosterone! Has he read this lot? He may be interested to know that a stroppy teenager from Texas got quite good at winning one race a year, upsetting the entire French nation annually, and got to wake up with a rock star for two years. Oh yeah he wore a helmet.