Skiing is an amazing recreational activity, and introducing kids to the pleasures of going down the slopes is something most parents look forward to. While adults who have enjoyed skiing for most of their lives have very little to fear about the sport, kids are a different story. Children see the world in a different light, and introducing something as challenging as skiing to them can bring about worries that you never thought they had in the first place.
One of the primary fears kids often have when it comes to skiing is the fear of heights. After all, in order to get to the top of the slopes, you need to ride a chairlift or a gondola, and that can be somewhat scary for kids who have a fear of high places. Another fear that may surface when faced with the prospect of skiing down a snowy mountain for the first time would be the fear of failure.
Whatever your kids may fear when you introduce them to skiing, it is a good idea to help them overcome these before you have them try going down a mountain on their first pair of skis. Here are some tips you can try out to help kids enjoy their first experiences with skiing:
Inform them of the skiing adventure way ahead of time – get your child used to the idea that they will be going skiing with you months ahead of time. This will get them used to the idea slowly and will help them find out more about the sport before they actually have to strap on their skis. This will also help them ask you about your own experiences with skiing and will help them become excited about it when you show your enthusiasm for the activity.
Give them a day or two to adjust to the environment – seeing the snow, the slopes, and the people skiing, as well as feeling the difference in altitude and temperatures, can be somewhat overwhelming to a newbie. This is why it is a good idea for you to bring your kids to the ski resort a day or two before you hit the slopes on your skis. You can take them around the area to absorb everything that is happening around them, and you can start introducing them to the equipment they will be using during these first two days.
Enroll them in a group lesson for kids – one way you can help kids learn skiing without them succumbing to their many fears is to enroll them in a group lesson for kids. This will give them a sense of belonging since they will be with others who share the same fears, and this will help them see that there is nothing to fear when they also interact with kids their age who are not afraid of skiing. This will also make things more enjoyable for them since kids enjoy having lots of fun learning with their peers.
Don’t force them to learn at the same pace as others – some kids learn faster than others, and some take their sweet time when trying something new. Comparing the speed one kid has in learning how to ski with another will only aggravate the situation and may make them fear the activity more. It may even make them hate skiing, so it is best to let them set their own pace when they are starting out on their skis.
These are just a few tips and tricks you can use to help your child overcome fear of skiing. Tell them that it is okay to fall down during your first few tries, and that even when you already know how to ski, you still fall down yourself time and again. You can also reassure them that once they learn how to ski, they will look forward to these skiing trips year after year.