Getting your kids to like skiing

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Recently, we received a great question from one of our readers and we wanted to share it with you.

“Does anyone have a kiddo who just doesn’t seem to like the cold weather?  Our middle child just whines whenever we go out.  I really hoped skiing could continue to be a family event.  How can I encourage her to give it a try?  I don’t want to force her to ski but if we are all going, we aren’t leaving her behind.”

As much as we all want our children to naturally like the things we like, what happens when they don’t?  What do you do then.  Well, here are a few ideas to help answer this question, that I’m sure all of us will face in some form or another over the years.

1.  What if you have a child that doesn’t like cold weather?  Well, as with all things, talk to them about it first.  Is there something that they do not like about cold weather?  Did they have a bad experience with it?  Get questions like this out of the way first so see if the problem may be something different.

With our children, the times that they whine the most in cold weather are when they are just plain cold.  Remember that kids are little and it’s more difficult for them to maintain an even body temperature than it is for adults.  Because of this, we highly recommend that you buy your kids GOOD gear for playing outside.  Although those $5 gloves from walmart, are oh-so-tempting when you tally up the cost of winter wear, remember that you’re getting what you pay for.  We’ve had many people suggest to us that if your kids are going to be doing anything serious outside, you should buy them the same quality gear as you would yourselves.  Starting with a good baselayer (not made of cotton) is essential, and then build from there.  Take extra care to keep fingers, toes, and faces warm, as those are the places that usually get hit first!

Want more ideas on how to keep your kids warm?  Check out these articles by Brave Ski Mom, an expert on skiing with kids.  Keeping your kids hands warm, How cold is too cold for skiing, and How do I keep my kids feet warm.

2.  How do I encourage my child to give skiing a try?  Well, hopefully, once you tackle the cold issue, the issue of skiing should be an easier one to handle.  Our biggest suggestion to you is to make it fun.  When our kids are first starting out with skiing (this will be Mason’s 4th season), I felt like almost no skiing got done.  We essentially played games with the kids the whole time that we were skiing with them to get them to see how much fun it is.  If you were to ask Chloe what she does when she skis, she would tell you “ski and say wee”.  She has no idea that skiing is a sport, to her it’s a game.  In fact, last season was the first where I felt like we actually got some real skiing done with Mason.  Why am I telling you this?  Because if you don’t take a lot of time to make skiing fun, your kids will likely not enjoy it.

If you continue to struggle getting your child to like skiing with the family, try a group lesson.  Many kids do much better around their peers than around their parents.  This will give your child a chance to work on their skills without dealing with family stresses.  Another great option is to bring a friend along on your next ski trip (or better yet, invite a whole family).  This may help your child relax and want to show off some of the skills that they have.

Mostly, don’t give up.  For us, we decided long before we had kids that skiing as a family was not optional.  Because of that, we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that our kids really like skiing.  In the summer, they strap their skis on and scoot around the grass (totally their own idea).  In the fall, we watch ski movies together, take drives up to the mountains to check on the snow, and let them help pick out some of their own gear.  In the winter, we buy massive amounts of hot chocolate for the millions of breaks that we will take with them.  And in the spring, we’re all smiles because not only have we had a great time as a family, but our kids are one step closer to being the little rippers we’ve dreamed they’d become!

Have more questions?  Please keep them coming.  We love to hear from you and will try to answer any questions you may have.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

3 thoughts on “Getting your kids to like skiing”

  1. Great post with good advice! Thank you for the links back to my site, too.

    I love the advice to watch ski movies together. We do that — year round — and the boys have received ski movies on Christmas for many years. This often means everything comes to a halt for an hour or so while we watch the movies, but it also means we enjoy opening presents all day!

  2. We live in Los Angeles, where cold weather & snow are rare. My boys actually loved experiencing snow the first time (for the novelty, I suppose) & never complained of being cold. Turns out the one who needs to stay warm & comfy first & foremost is mom!


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