If you’ve been to the snow for a ski holiday it’s likely that you have seen kids that are only just taller than your ski pole speed down the mountain outmatching you for pace. It’s just as likely that you have seen other kids drop down to the snow, protesting their dislike for the sport their parents love so much. If you’re a parent it’s likely that during your first few ski holidays your child was, at one stage, in this latter category. So how do you get your children back on their skis, loving the sport you love.
Ski School is fundamental
When children are dropped off at their first day of school, or music lessons, they can be scared and upset. When the time comes to pick them up, they’re often excited and happy. The same goes for ski school. It can be hard to drop your kid off in the hands of a young instructor and start skiing without them, but learning in ski school is the best way to ensure your child learns properly. If they learn properly, they are much more likely to enjoy their time on the mountain.
Most quality ski resorts have ski instructors’ that conduct extremely professional and effective lessons while keeping them fun and engaging for children. They truly are great at age and skill specific lessons and your children are more likely to listen to them then you.
Keep them warm
It goes without saying that most of the time, skiing is cold. If young skiers are falling over often, they are likely to be wet and even colder. Because of this, the best course of action is to overcompensate. Dress your children in several warm layers. Hand warmers, beanies and balaclavas are all going to be helpful in keeping your child warm and comfortable.
Get Familiar with Falls
Even the best skiers fall down from time to time and If it’s your child’s first ski trip they’re probably going to fall down a lot. Make sure they know this and that it’s ok to fall. Mistakes happen and it’s all part of learning! Tell them about how long it took for you to learn or how much you used to fall.
When they do fall, make sure they’re ok, but don’t make a big deal out of it, once you know they’re fine get them back on their ski’s and try again.
Just because your child can’t do something today, doesn’t mean they won’t pick it up tomorrow. Children learn fast, but you can’t expect them to learn everything on their first day. Going at a pace that’s comfortable for them is important in ensuring they are enjoying the snow!
You will also need to take lots of breaks from skiing. The sport uses lots of muscles we don’t usually use so it’s easy to tire. Yes, the more they ski the better they will get, but pushing their little bodies for hours on end is dangerous.
Know their limits
In the same vein, make sure you know what runs are suitable for your children. Your child’s safety is top priority so taking them to your favourite run, with terrain too advanced for their skills is not a smart move. Kids like to succeed and if they can’t make it down a run without constantly crashing, they’re going to get frustrated, upset and likely give up. Knowing where’s best to take your child on the mountain comes down to education, understanding your kids ability and listening to what they want and need.
Play is more important than Performance
Carrying on from the last point, it’s important to focus on fun rather than performance. If you’re trying to get a child interested in something, this is important. Having fun is much more likely to lead to an excitement around the sport compared to when they’re forced to do it. It might be tedious for you but while your child learns, take them down easy slopes they are able to enjoy.
Think about the future. If they have a positive experience while growing up, they can master the sport and one day you can tackle a black diamond run with your child! First you must endure the basics.
Explore Other Types of Snow Fun
So, play is more important than performance while on the skis, but it’s also important for the whole snow holiday. Winter can be a difficult place to have fun but at most resorts there’s heaps of ways you can have fun in the snow without skis. Have snow ball fights, go tubing, make snowmen and snow angels, you can even go hiking. The best way to get your children to love skiing is to create a positive environment around the whole holiday!