A wonderful thing about being a parent is the opportunity to recapture the joys of childhood through the youthful enthusiasm of our kids.
Children instinctively know how to have fun, a skill many of us adults forget when we are wrapped up in our cares, our concerns and our self-consciousness.
With that being said here are 4 things our kids can teach us parents when skiing or snowboarding:
Lesson One: Have fun.
Have you ever watched a group of kids skiing together?
If so, you likely saw kids with good technique, kids with okay technique, and kids who seem not to care about technique.
This is because what kids really care about is spending time together, exploring the mountain, and the joy that comes from making turns as they ride downhill.
Overthinking things like technique will sap the joy out of any activity — and it is something we adults do way too much.
Instead of always trying to be the “best,” or worrying about how you look on snow, make an effort to silence the internal commentary and ski like a kid.
Look with awe at the view from the top of the mountain. Explore new runs. Follow your kids into designated “adventure terrain” or the trees. Whoop and holler together and take pleasure in their pleasure.
If you find it difficult to stop the commentary, focus on your breath as you turn and let all other thoughts go in and out of your brain without judgment. Feel the movement in the moment and ski and ride with joy.
Lesson Two: Listen to Your Body, Not Your App
Listening too much to our minds can get us into trouble. But listening to our bodies is a good childish skill to cultivate.
While kids sometimes get so caught up in having fun that they don’t want to stop, even if they’re tired or hungry, most of the time kids will tell us how they feel and what they want.
Sometimes, when our kids’ desires don’t mesh with our own, we adults call this “whining.” But this really isn’t fair.
If you, your partner or a child is cold, hungry, thirsty or tired when skiing, stop and remedy whatever is ailing.
Pay attention to what you’re hearing or observing, even if it means taking a break or stopping before you’re ready. Try not to focus on the amount of vertical feet you’re logging, the value you’re getting per dollar paid, or some other external factor that an app may be telling you.
Instead, turn off the phone and focus on ensuring that everyone in your crew is happy and content.
Even better, be proactive and suggest hot chocolate for all. Carry special snacks. Find a beautiful place to stop and talk. Toss snowballs.
If you or your kids are flagging, ski to the lodge, drink water, and warm up together. If your children have an idea for a game, or a new run to explore, let them lead the way. Join them in the terrain park, cheering them on from the sidelines or joining them on the features. Follow their lead and let your cares fade away.
Not only will your family be happier, but so will you. Those numbers on the app pale in comparison to a multitude of happy smiles.
Lesson Three : Plan Your Ski Day Like A School Day
To avoid stress on skis days, adapt your child’s school day routine and create a ski day routine.
Instead of having a book bag packed and ready to go, make sure each member of the family has a boot and gear bag packed and ready to go.
Likewise, if your family takes lunch or snacks to the mountain, prepare and pack these in advance.
Before bedtime, help your children lay out their ski clothing. If they need help getting dressed in the morning, get yourself ready first, and then help them.
Plan ahead for an easy and relaxed breakfast.
Finally, make sure everyone knows what time the school bus…er…car is leaving. Ten to fifteen minutes before you need to leave, load up the gear and humans for an on-time departure.
Once you arrive at the resort, let your kids carry their own bags and gear if they are able.
Strangely, while we adults are always hoping to recapture youth, our kids often cannot wait to show off their independence.
Lesson Four: Take a Time Out
If you find yourself angry, self-conscious or critical on a ski day, give yourself a time out. We parents are only human, and family time is sometimes challenging.
Just as we encourage (or force) our children to step away from activities that aren’t serving them well, a time out in the lodge or on a solo run, may be just what you need.
As our kids know so well, skiing is supposed to be fun. If it isn’t, ask yourself why. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that the only reason to ski or ride is for pleasure.
Picture yourself having fun. Picture the joy on your children’s faces after a run. Force yourself to smile.
And then, get out there and enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.braveskimom.com