The Ski School Experience
Newsflash: Even professional ski and snowboard instructors send their kids to ski and ride school. Here’s why:
- They want to enjoy their own time on the advanced slopes.
- They are emotionally vested in the outcome of the lesson.
- They want their kids to make new friends, who share their interest in skiing and snowboarding.
If your child is at least three years old, and potty trained, let the pros take responsibility for the lesson, and enjoy your time on the slopes.
Ski School Checklist
Here is a list of things that every parent should know:
- Arrive early and allow for multiple trips to the bathroom.
- If you are late, the class will leave without your kids.
- If your child has any special needs, arrive even earlier and inform the instructor.
- Give your cell phone number to your kid and the instructor.
- Give your child enough money for snacks.
- Motivate your kids. Tell them that the instructors know all the cool, secret slopes.
- Encourage them to read the ski school chapter in Kids Travel Guide: Skiing. Leonardo, their guide, offers excellent advice about taking lessons.
Another option: Some resorts have special “Teach Your Tots” lessons. These classes teach parents how to teach their kids to ski.
After the Lesson
Most children’s ski and ride schools hold sessions in the morning. This strategy facilitates afternoon skiing with the family. The questions you ask your kids will set the tone for the family skiing experience.
For example, if you ask them “What did you learn today?” They might not know how to answer. Instead, ask:
Was it fun?
What was the best part?
What would you have changed if you could?
“I wish I could have gone faster” might mean that they need a more advanced class. “I was scared of going down the slope might mean that they need a less advanced class.
Before you venture out as a family, consult your child’s instructor. Ask:
- What runs are appropriate for the family to ski together
- What skills they practiced in the lesson.
- Allow your child to show off what he or she learned in ski school.
- Ask them to lead you down the run.
- Ask them to warn you about the safety tips they learned
Ski school is important, but your kids will want to spend some time skiing with you. Make it a pleasant experience. If you feel like showing them a new skill, let them watch you do it. Go easy on the verbal explanations. Too much talk and they start rolling their eyes.
Now go make some memories!