For parents who are passionate about snowsports, autumn is a season of anticipation. Snow is falling, resorts are opening, ski movies are being released. Itís full-on stoke season in the Northern Hemisphere.
But what if your kids arenít really excited about skiing or snowboarding? What if snowsports are something they can take or leave?
Here are five ideas to build the family stoke and get your children just as fired up about skiing and snowboard this winter.
Nothing but nothing got our sons as excited for the snow season as watching ski and snowboard movies. While your kids may not yet be thinking about winter, what with the delights of falling leaves, pumpkins and apple cider, a family movie night featuring Warren Miller films guarantees a fine combination of laughter and inspiration.
While Miller is a sure thing with all ages, older kids may enjoy other filmmakers who focus on big mountain skiing or pipe and park, depending upon their interests. YouTube also has a wealth of videos and competition footage. Finally, check your local calendar of events to see if the newest releases are being screened in your area.
Find the time to chat with your kids about last season. What was fun? What did they enjoy? What would they like to do again? Watch videos and look at photos from recent ski holidays together and ask your kids about their favorite memories. Remembering these fun times is enjoyable and creates lasting bonds for the future.
3. Cede Control
Kids spend a lot of time being told what to do by adults. Flip this paradigm on itís head and ask your kids to plan this ski season. Depending upon their skills and desire, maybe recreational racing is an option or a park and pipe clinic. Maybe this is the season your child wants to switch from skis to a snowboard. Maybe theyíre just getting started in lessons and suspect theyíd have more fun taking lessons with a friend. Youíll have to guide this conversation by laying out some of the options. But allowing children to make these decisions ensures that they have a personal stake in whatís coming up and is much more effective than telling them what will happen.
4. Get out your equipment
Youíll need to take stock of your familyís gear anyway, to see what fits and what doesnít. Rather than making this a chore, involve the family in a ski season kickoff celebration. If your child has outgrown his or her equipment happily note this change in height. Let younger kids loose in the backyard to slide on their skis and snowboard if there is snow. Make hot chocolate or fondue together and let the excitement build. If youíve got ski-themed books and puzzles, this is a good time to enjoy these things, too.
If you trade outgrown clothing and gear with other families, get everyone together and make it a party.
Depending upon your childrenís ages and interests, their excitement for snowsports may ebb and flow. This may be because they are young and donít really understand all the fuss. It may be because they associate skiing and snowboarding with being cold, had a scary experience or miss doing other things with their friends. It may be because they are tweens or teens seeking greater independence from mom and dad.
If you can, find out what your child doesnít like about snowsports and try to remedy this situation (for example, dressing him or her in more layers on cold days).
While it can be frustrating for snowsport-crazy parents, itís important to give all kids some space. Provide them with the opportunity to ski or snowboard with you. If they take it, great. If they donít, try again another day.
Donít give up. Donít get discouraged. And, most importantly, be a positive, enthusiastic role model. Often if kids see the rest of the family having fun, even reluctant children will want to join in, too.
Hailing from Colorado (USA) Kristen Lummis, or as she is better known, the Brave Ski Mom, is an avid skier and true family mum in every sense of the word. www.thebraveskimom.com