Alright, this title might seem kind of aggressive. I get it—we should never push our kids into doing things they don’t want to do. However, as an experienced mother, I have to say: without my insistence, my kids would not have tried half of their favorite activities. I’m not kidding; they kick and scream for the first few weeks, but once they get the hang of it, they begin to really enjoy what they’re doing. It happened with dance classes. It happened with Karate lessons. And, my friends, it happened with skiing.
Pushing your kids is never easy; as soon as you see those eyes swell with tears, it can be difficult to keep insisting they try something. However, there are constructive ways to push your children, especially when the whole family is involved. If you and your partner want your kids to ski, here’s how to get them into it.
If they’re too scared, wait another year.
I started skiing when I was four years old, but those first few years were traumatic. If I hadn’t gotten over it, I don’t know if I’d have ever gotten back on skis. If your kid is too scared of heights or of going too fast, take a breather and wait another year. In the meantime, introduce them to aspects of skiing over time. If they’re afraid of heights, try some small hikes in the summer. If they’re afraid of speed, bring them to a Go-Kart place. Do what you can to assuage their fears.
Let your kid make the decisions. The small ones, anyway.
If letting your daughter pick out a sparkly purple coat is what it takes to get her on the mountain, go out and buy that damn sparkly coat. Let them feel like they have control over the situation; they’ll gain confidence and trust the sport more fully.
Ask the right questions.
If your kid has a rough day on the slopes, ask what went wrong. If they don’t want to go skiing one weekend, ask them why, and really listen to what they have to say. Then, help your kid develop personal goals to overcome their problems with skiing. Sit down with them and talk about why you want them to learn, then have a discussion about why they do or don’t like the sport. Take their comments to heart.