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cheebdragon's avatar

Too young for a dirt bike?

Asked by cheebdragon (17547points) May 17th, 2014 from iPhone

My stepdad broke his leg in 2 places a few months ago while riding a dirt bike, and yet he still went out and bought my 8 year old son a dirt bike. No one ever asked or even mentioned it before hand and I’m extremely uncomfortable with my son riding it. Would you be upset?

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12 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I agree with you. That is awfully young, and as the mother you should obviously be consulted – and I would say “in agreement”. It sounds as if your stepfather is trying to buy affection from your son (certainly not from you!), so your best method of damage control now is to maintain strict control of how and when he rides, including when and why he doesn’t ride, as the carrot to make sure that homework and chores are done, etc. At this point you can’t very well take it away, I presume, without coming off as the mean mom. But you may need to consider that, too. Someone has to be the adult.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

They have dirt bikes that a four year old could ride, I have been riding off road motorcycles since I was twelve, I can totally understand your concern for his safety, so insist on all the proper gear approved helmet, gloves,goggles, and boots, and teach him about the risks and dangers, maybe riding lessons then let him at it.
I think dirt biking is better then spending countless hours playing computer games or texting,he is outside doing something fun and getting exercise,can’t think of anything wrong with that.
Now as to your question I understand and yes you can be upset for not being consulted about the bike, but then again you just would have said NO! right?

Crazydawg's avatar

Your right as a parent was infringed upon by your FIL and I would be more than furious with him giving your son a dirt bike without consulting with you first. If you are against this gift then I would put my foot down and say absolutely not. Clearly state your reasons why. And pick a later more age appropriate time that you would approve your son engaging in dirt bike riding. Kids are always going to have to face disappointment over a parents decision but that is why your are your sons parent because you can make rational decisions on what is best for your child. This is your decision not anyone elses.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I agree completely with @CWOTUS. That is not the sort of gift I would ever buy for a child without prior approval from the parents. It’s easy to give someone else’s kid a potentially dangerous gift. But your stepfather should have thought about the trouble and responsibility he was giving you along with it.

hearkat's avatar

We had a neighbor who rode BMX and Motocross, so his kid and a couple others in the neighborhood had real dirtbikes at very young ages… his kid was three or four! I was amazed that he had the balance – I couldn’t ride a regular bike until I was six. But his dad taught him and he could handle it.

To me the issue isn’t the age, it’s the family member bypassing the parent in giving a gift that is dangerous and requires intensive training and supervision. Had they even mentioned it at all or did they just spring it on you when they gave it to the kid? That is disrespectful and selfish on the gift-giver’s part, and means that they can not be trusted. If that happened with my son, that family member would be completely cut off from seeing my child—at least not without supervision. Even when someone bypassed me on far less significant issues, they’d at least get an earful, and I would not hesitate to refuse the gift if I felt it was completely inappropriate for my child and wouldn’t necessarily offer explanations, either.

Some folks say, “Sometimes it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.” There might be a chance, if I knew that the child has really been wanting a dirt bike, and that the gift-giver is experienced and responsible about safety, I might consider allowing the gift-giver to keep the dirt bike at their home and insist that they train the child how to ride safely, and always with full gear on (NO EXCEPTIONS!), and only when I was present to supervise.

cheebdragon's avatar

No one said a word about it before hand, my son came up to me one evening and said “mom you have to go see my new motorcycle mark gave me”.....I didn’t even know what to say about it, it was so out of left field and not even around Christmas or his birthday (Christmas Eve).

It really pissed me off last week because I had jury duty and had to report before my sons school started and the courthouse is about 20min away from my house. So that morning my son was responsible for getting himself to school, he frequently rides his bike to school anyway, so the only real difference was that he would be home alone for about 30min and he was to lock the door when he left for school. I had informed a trusted neighbor, and I emailed his teacher to make sure he arrived at the school. It’s a safe neighborhood (top 10 safest on the FBI list). My mom flipped the fuck out on me when she found out about him being alone for 30 min. Wtf? My brother and I were both latchkey kids at a younger age than my son and we lived in a bad area when we were kids. I knew my son would be fine that day and I trust him 100%, but everytime he goes on vacation with my parents I worry about his safety the entire time.

johnpowell's avatar

Thank god for Obamacare. I’m not sure how anyone thought this was alright. I’m just curious. Is the bike at your place or theirs? And are there places that aren’t streets to ride it?

cheebdragon's avatar

The bike is at my moms house, there is quite a bit of undeveloped area, small hills and whatnot, but its all private property mostly fenced off and I’ve never seen anyone riding through it.
When he broke his leg he had to ride about 20 miles to get to the hospital, it’s not far away but it’s not that close either and I guarantee that if my son had been with him and been hurt that day, he would have had to be air lifted out.
If I accidentally stabbed myself while playing with a knife, I wouldn’t go out a few weeks later and buy someone else a knife to play with….unless I seriously hated that person.

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jerv's avatar

It depends on whether they were taught to ride safely. I’ve seen younger kids do fine, and I’ve seen adults get overconfident in their abilities and run into issues from lacking skills I’ve seen 5-year-olds have.

Age is irrelevant; skill is what matters here. And nobody of any age should ride without proper safety gear and training.

I’ve also seen many broken legs that have nothing to do with bikes. Ever play sports? Climb a tree? Use stairs? Been around anyone doing any of those things? Life is inherently dangerous, but for a trained rider with proper equipment, a dirtbike is no more dangerous than sitting in the passenger’s seat of a car; arguably less so.

fredTOG's avatar

Did he have a dirt bike before he got the new one ? just sayin.

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