Teenagers are reluctant to wear a helmet when they are over age 12. Ultimately, this issue boils down to your son or daughter being in the age group where influenced by the fashion trends, and the urge to not be a dork is a huge part of life.
As the parent(s) or their guardian(s), it is our duty to urge them to put on lids for their tiny melons.
We’ve combed through our archives to find the most useful and practical suggestions. These might be some quick wins:
Firstly, you could start by showing him example of crash stories, describe the potential severe danger, like being paralyzed after a hit from cars. It is a good lesson for every body including children.
Secondly, you can try to change the small culture atmosphere surrounded. If his(or her) friends all wear helmets while riding. I bet your children will ask for helmets.
Thirdly, You might get him a skateboard. Cool skateboarders do wear helmets–you can see them on the X games on TV all the time. If his skate helmet is dual certified it will work fine on a bicycle too.
Next, You might take him to some bike races, both on and off road. All sanctioned races in the US require helmets. Just going to a race will get the point across that all of the competitors are wearing helmets. Ditto for the bicycle piece of a triathlon. And even the Tour de France racers are wearing helmets now. Does he think he is a better bike handler than Lance? The racers are competent, fit, well-equipped and well dressed riders who are good role models.
Next, you might enroll him in one of the League of American Bicyclists’ courses on Effective Cycling. Those courses teach road riding techniques and include enough helmet culture to make an impression.
Next, you might buy him a really awesome helmet. Some teens don’t feel like a dork with a $150 helmet on. If that sounds like bribery, it is.
Next, you might just lay down the law. No helmet, no bike. Particularly if he wants a new and better bike. A new bike will go faster than the old one, so there is no doubt that he will have to wear a helmet if he gets it. More bribery.
Last but not the least, you might try some other sort of incentive program: wear your helmet and I will take you to Hawaii to surf.
If all else fails you might take comfort from the thought that bicycle helmets may turn out to be a lot easier to deal with than other teen behavior problems.
Hope your child could have an awesome & safe riding trip!