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Teaching your 4 1/2 year old - Page 2

post #31 of 49
RPTW,

Hey man-from what you're saying it sounds like the trouble your having is more off the slope than on...getting our kids to listen to us (for their benefit as well as ours) is a problem that certainly transcends skiing, and probably won't be rectified on the hill either.

I'm just guessing from the eagerness of your advice solicitations-and this may be way out of line (sorry if it is, man)-but does your boy have some resistance to 'listening' to you in most other situations or is this problem unique to your skiing time together?? Again, sorry that's a touchy subject-just an impression your posts were giving me (and probably only me).

AS for daddy poles..Of course I use them...when those little legs get tired or I want to traverse a little quicker their my tot tow ropes! (Also I like to ski behind the boy and flare out the poles to knock, er, encourage reckless sliders to steer clear).
post #32 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam
RPTW,

Hey man-from what you're saying it sounds like the trouble your having is more off the slope than on...getting our kids to listen to us (for their benefit as well as ours) is a problem that certainly transcends skiing, and probably won't be rectified on the hill either.

I'm just guessing from the eagerness of your advice solicitations-and this may be way out of line (sorry if it is, man)-but does your boy have some resistance to 'listening' to you in most other situations or is this problem unique to your skiing time together?? Again, sorry that's a touchy subject-just an impression your posts were giving me (and probably only me).

AS for daddy poles..Of course I use them...when those little legs get tired or I want to traverse a little quicker their my tot tow ropes! (Also I like to ski behind the boy and flare out the poles to knock, er, encourage reckless sliders to steer clear).

Hey Liam, You do know who you are talking to don't you? You've met my son, he just likes having fun, no major issues here.

G
post #33 of 49
Does Liam have kidds himself?
post #34 of 49
I am an instructor and am taking the season off to teach/ski with my 3 1/2 year old daughter. By some miracle of God, she has listened to me, and will make turns the whole way down the hill, even when not following me. I never taught her to slow down using a wedge, but only that using it will help her turn. I taught her to turn to slow down. Now, she will even turn to a stop without trying to use a larger wedge.

Here's a thought for enticing the kid to turn. Take a bunch of twigs or straws or ??? with you. As you ski down and make turns, drop or stick them in the snow. Tell the kid that for every one of them that they pick up and bring to you at the bottom of the hill, they get an M&M. At my hill, they set up stubbies and padded "gates" that look like flowers and butterflies, etc., on the beginner hills. We make it a game to either touch or go around every one of them. My daughter isn't much motivated by food, but she loves "games", so we pretend the gates are monsters and we go around every one, growling at them to scare them. She gets a kick out of it.

Also, I have been using a harness, but would only put any tension on it if necessary. And usually, when I did, I would stop her completely, so that she wouldn't rely on just going straight and having me control her speed. Basically, it was a negative consequesnce in her mind (stopping) if she went too fast or failed to turn. Only use it for safety, not speed control.
post #35 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Does Liam have kidds himself?
Yes, he has 2, but I'm sure he will answer for himself.
post #36 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Here's a thought for enticing the kid to turn. Take a bunch of twigs or straws or ??? with you. As you ski down and make turns, drop or stick them in the snow. Tell the kid that for every one of them that they pick up and bring to you at the bottom of the hill, they get an M&M.
This would work, but I'm not sure if I could carry that many M&M's. My son can be totally bribed with choclate. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Thanks
post #37 of 49
Thanks G-man,

Yes-two


One who loves to listen and cooperate and another who loves to not listen and frustrate the best of my pedagogical designs...so yeah, I was speaking from experience.

Liam
post #38 of 49
I had my 3 1/2 year old niece for her third day on skis (while younger sis and husband actually did some skiing) and it worked fine. Top tips were...

Lots of hot chocolate breaks and don't get antsy if they want to fool around with bright coloured animals in the ski lodge

When on the snow give them challenges that they can relate to
My neice was very stiff legged - so I found a very slow easy green and held my arm out for her to ski under by bending. Without her realising I then moved so that she was going up over a bump when she had to duck under my arm - Hey Presto - Absorbtion

She was small enough she could even ski through my legs with a duck (but careful with this one

As for poles - no poles!

When she got into the idea of skiing towards me and me swinging her up in the air (she weighed less than a couple of ski boots I found I could backwards wedge in front of her and keep her coming towards me.

Just like teaching a kid to swim to you when you back away a bit at a time

But remember praise / praise / praise - at this age nothing is WRONG only fun/not fun

Do I like kids - Only with BBQ sauce
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Also, I have been using a harness, but would only put any tension on it if necessary. ... Only use it for safety, not speed control.
That is so worth noting. Funny that I saw from the lift a father skiing down with his kid with the leashed harness in the tightest stretch. And, he kept saying "Don't sit back, don't sit back".
post #40 of 49
chanwmr, LOL, I had a 4y student once with a father that insisted on sking with us all the time. He kept shouting to his son "dont cross your skis"....

Liam, oh, sorry, yeah, you actually talk about your kids in your post.... I was just having an allergic reaction to a comment about child behaviour... My apologies.
post #41 of 49
By the way, its strange that nobody here hammers the wedge as much as in other threads that debate the wedge itselfe. Looks like this is a better approach, we need to get kids to ski and not to wedge. I have had hundreds if not over a thousand wedging lessons and I have two kids myself and they have all started out with the wedge. Results have been good.

Dr Phil
Kids are much smarter than we think. Many times they observe you and they listen to what you say but they need time in order to have it put into production. Have patiense (difficult with own kids) and dont think you have to be a clown all the time in order to keep kids in a good mood. Dont try to be a skiing buddy! Be a parrent or a ski-instructor. Every kid is different and needs individual attention. Even in a group you need to treat them as individuals. Bribing with chocolade and candy is very common. But I dont do it. And all the kids know it. And its never a problem. I sometimes give my older son a "ski-instructor candy" if he does something really great out on the hill. Since it happens very seldome it is very much appresiated. BTW, you dont need an exam to become a father or mother but you need one to become a ski-instructor. Lots of dorks out there.....
post #42 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Bribing with chocolade and candy is very common. But I dont do it. And all the kids know it. And its never a problem.
Funny that you mention that. I am one of those cold-hearted instructors who don't do brides either, especially with candies. I reward my good kids with lots of praises, more instructions, more exciting runs and favorable reports to the parents. Obviously, without the sweets I don't get as big a groupie size but I do have my own group of "followers" and I receive good feedbacks from them and their parents/advisors.
post #43 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
By the way, its strange that nobody here hammers the wedge as much as in other threads that debate the wedge itselfe. Looks like this is a better approach, we need to get kids to ski and not to wedge. I have had hundreds if not over a thousand wedging lessons and I have two kids myself and they have all started out with the wedge. Results have been good.
IMHO, it depends on the age. At 4 yo and younger, it really shouldn't matter how he/she skis as long as he/she can confidently turn and stop when he/she first start learning. The elements needed for parallel turns, such as pressuring and angulation (along with getting out of the backseat), are generally advanced (and hard to teach) skills to kids of this age, which can be used once the basic skills are established. With that said, wedging is probably the easiest way to start. The best an instructor can expect is to have the kid to stand tall and make a small pizza.
post #44 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr
Funny that you mention that. I am one of those cold-hearted instructors who don't do brides either, especially with candies. I reward my good kids with lots of praises, more instructions, more exciting runs and favorable reports to the parents. Obviously, without the sweets I don't get as big a groupie size but I do have my own group of "followers" and I receive good feedbacks from them and their parents/advisors.
I'd agree, but only as an instructor of OPKs (other people's kids). When it comes to working with your own, it screws up the teaching scenario quite a bit. As I said, I'm incredibly lucky that my daughter listens, pays attention and will do what I ask without bribes. However, even with that, it does take a lot of time (8-10 skiing days, 3-4 hours of skiing per day, to get her to this point). In general, the rule with kids is that they will listen to another authority figure much better than a parent. That's why it's so hard to teach your own. If a parent can get the desired results with a little harmless bribery (they were going to feed them M&Ms for energy anyway), then I say go for it.
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr
I am one of those cold-hearted instructors who don't do brides
This should be noted by people planning honeymoon ski trips.
post #46 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
In general, the rule with kids is that they will listen to another authority figure much better than a parent. That's why it's so hard to teach your own.
That was the main reason for my question.
post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
In general, the rule with kids is that they will listen to another authority figure much better than a parent. That's why it's so hard to teach your own.
Actually, I don't even think that kids don't want to learn from the parents. It's one of those funny things that they don't adjust to a different environment because they expect things a certain way. It is kind of like running into his/her favorite teacher at the grocery store. They see their parents as teachers of life lessons and not teachers of ski lessons. If you think about it, in a normal home kids do learn far more (both actively and passively) from the parents than they learn from their teachers (both good and bad things). Also, from the parents standpoint, we, versus an unrelated instructor, cannot stand to see even the slightest bit of "failure" -- hence the impatience and frustration set in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
If a parent can get the desired results with a little harmless bribery (they were going to feed them M&Ms for energy anyway), then I say go for it.
Sorry, didn't mean to offend anyone. Just wanted to mention that I don't do it either.
post #48 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
This should be noted by people planning honeymoon ski trips.
Hey, good catch!
post #49 of 49
[quote=tdk6]By the way, its strange that nobody here hammers the wedge as much as in other threads that debate the wedge itselfe. Looks like this is a better approach, we need to get kids to ski and not to wedge. I have had hundreds if not over a thousand wedging lessons and I have two kids myself and they have all started out with the wedge. Results have been good.

You know-once on that anti-wedge/ anti-rotary forum I mentioned the importance of the wedge to children, and was hounded off the thread-yet no one there offered another approach. The wedge gives children, and their parents, and frankly all-first timers instantly what they need most...the ability to stop sliding. If the incredible quality of kids skiing that I observe everywhere these days is any indicator, the ubiquitous use of 'pizzas' and "french fries" (hoorah for the common denominators of our American Diet!) must be working.
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