We rented - instead of buying - skis for my kids for the first few years when their bodies and skills were growing quickly. Not that I'm trying to push renting, but the experiences gave me some insite as to what type of skis worked best.
During the first 2-3 years (we started them at age four) we followed the advise of some knowledeable friends and kept the ski lengths short - starting at chin height. We also started with shaped skis - easy turning low-end models like Rosi Cuts and Elan at the time. These worked just fine. We tried some "better quality" straight skis one time, but the kids found these harder to turn and were frustrated after being used to the shaped. Took'em back and got the basic package.
My kids preferred lessons from me rather than in a class, so I spent a lot of time working/playing with them. Definitely go with easy-turning shaped skis. No need to worry about steering, angulation, etc.
After these earliest days, I went to eye-height and then head height lengths. They never seemed to have a problem with the added inches. My son always liked (still likes) to ski fairly fast, and actually did better each time he moved up a size.
Bottom line: I would start with short, easy shaped models that fit them correctly at the moment. And be prepared to increase the size each season as needed.
There weren't any good kid trade-in programs near us, so we rented.
The scratches on the tops of my own skis and loss of time on the black diamond runs was worth it. (Tho I agree with Yuki, not all parent/kid lessons were meant to be. Lessons with experienced instructors who specialize in helping kids might be the best way to go.)
Have fun! [img]smile.gif[/img]
<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 21, 2001 04:54 PM: Message edited 1 time, by G.Law ]</font>