Common Mistakes When Teaching Kids to Ski: Teaching Them Yourself

Today is the conclusion to my 4-part series. Don’t get me wrong, some parents are totally capable of teaching their own kids to ski. However, a lot of adults who’ve been skiing for years forget how difficult learning can be and don’t know how to break down skiing into learnable skills. Screaming “pizza” as your kid zooms down the hill out of control is not helpful, but it’s all some parents can offer.

Here are some good questions to ask before teaching them yourself:

  1. Will you be happy and patient spending all day and possibly more days on the bunny hill?
  2. Do you have expertise to offer beyond yelling “pizza” or “French fries?”
  3. Can you ski backwards?
  4. Can you let go of expectations of how quickly your kid should learn? IE, my kid won’t need an edgie wedgie. My kid will be on the lift before lunch.
  5. Can you accept that having fun is the most important outcome of the day?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, you might have a chance at teaching your kid to ski. But even if you can teach your child to ski, there’s something to be said for you being the parent and not the teacher. Sometimes kids respond better to an authority figure, and they can advance more rapidly when watching their peers. A few days in ski school can bump them up a few levels and get them out on the hill with the rest of the family.

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