I promote enjoying your favorite horse-powered toy together with your child of any age. I did and I still do.
When my son Lukas was too young to ride by himself, he rode in-front or behind me on my snowmobile, motorcycle or ATV. I think that gave him a much better understanding of what it takes to ride safely and how to approach various obstacles.
Today, at age 12, Lukas is an awesome little rider with great throttle control and the ability to plan ahead no matter what vehicle he’s on.
My number 1 goal when riding with my son is and has always been his safety.
Rule one: Padding, padding and more padding. A child that doesn’t get hurt when falling over will learn to enjoy his ride quicker. Lukas was wearing full motocross gear (head to toes) when we taught him how to ride a bicycle for the first time… Maybe it was overkill, but it didn’t bother him (or me) when he fell so he got up and tried again. And got really good at it. Same with the motocross bike that he got on his third birthday…
Rule two: Understand that you have a precious life in your hands so ride defensive and don’t push your limits. Understand that things can go wrong, so make sure they don’t go really wrong. Check the weather, bring snacks, food and water, carry a SPOT GPS transmitter, tell other riders to give you extra room. Be a Mama-bear. And never ride alone (without other adults).
And, my last rule: Remember you have a child when you’re out having fun without him or her! You need to come back home in one piece to be there for them!