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Is it worth a lesson or should we wait?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My son is 3 1/2, I started him skiing last year. I am not sure what to expect from a child this age but I am happy with what he is doing so far. I started him with a tip clip and a wee ski belt with reigns last year and this year took those off him and let him go. He can stop and turn pretty well (in a wedge of course) and is getting pretty fast when he feels confident. He is even having moments where he want to just fly down with his straight and go as fast as he can. I am not fabulous myself, I ski only for fun and probably would avoid black diamond runs. I bought myself and him skis last year after not having gone in about 10 years. I could probably use a lesson myself as I am sure my kids will be better than me in a couple years but my question is for him right now. Is it worth paying for a lesson for him at this point? Will he learn anything more technical at this point or should I wait til he is a little bigger? Should we just go and have fun now and he will get better with practice or could he benefit now?
By the way I am LOVING my new ski buddy as my DH refuses to go and I can't wait til next year and teach my now 1 yr old so she can come have fun with us too!
post #2 of 21
Get DH a lesson and go play in the snow
post #3 of 21
What does DH mean? 'sides down hill
post #4 of 21
DH is the kids initials. A lesson would give the kid some skills to practice. Turning for one. Turn for speed control and safety. He is young and good experiences are the best and he will develop more skills in time.
He will learn something and your lesson will sharpen your skills.

Lessons? Go for it but not together. You do your thing and he does his and you meet up and play after
post #5 of 21
DH = D... Husband?


And lessons, yes. but on your own. Son in his own lesson.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
DH is the kids initials.
Oops wrong, must be significant other.Dear husband??
post #7 of 21
Given the attitude of "DH" toward skiing (and the context), I interpreted it as "Dunderhead Husband."
post #8 of 21
Could it be divorced husband? Then again, if they are divorced then he wouldn't be a husband anymore. :

As for the lesson for his age, you have two options. Give a kid a lesson on his own. Or, take a mom-and-me, if your school offers it. At 3.5yo, it's likely that he is just experiencing the feel of skis on snow. A lesson just foster the learning process. And, a good mom-and-me can help further promote that when he's not skiing with an instructor as he's probably not ready for constant separation yet.

For next year, I would not recommend mom-and-me for him as he should be older enough to be picking up skills for real from his own lessons. Depending on the kid, having a parent there can have a real negative impact with his progress and confidence. But, it is not always the case.

Congratuation on your decision to share this sport with you child. Now, the best days are not that far away...
post #9 of 21
I must massively disagee with the mom and me lesson. Nothing makes it harder than when the parent is present. The kid is looking for the mom for all input and the instructor gets major interference of the kids attention. So often I have had kids act out in the company of one of the parents as they try to work the parents in the usual way .Then when we get them separated the kid has a great time and the learning comes together much easier and the time is used more efficiently.
Kids love their moms and that is a wonderful thing . Let the instructor instruct and then play with the kid after their lesson and work on the stuff they were learning or just ski together and have a good time.
post #10 of 21
I have to agree with Garryz....

I had a 5 year old in my class that could ski very well. Her parents stayed close to the class and were visible through the day. Close enough that she spent much of her time looking around for them.

Her undivided attention would have moved her signifigantly forward.

My recommendation is...

1) A lesson before the end of the season if the school will have it. It is more to understand the environment. SkiMamma, he may not ski much but will get acclimated to being in the environment.

Before you introduce your 1 year old, you have got to have the older one be able to stop. Period.

2) Everytime you bring up the littlest one, I would put the older one in the class. Herding two kids on the mountain with seperate skill levels will not only test you but everyones safety.

3) Try and get DH involved. Even if they take lessons then call it a day. It is a great family experience.

Jim
post #11 of 21
Looky guys...

Before you grill me on suggesting the mom-n-me, read carefully about what I stated. I said these "classes" are only good if the kid is young -- very young. I meant only 3 and younger. I doubt we are comparing apples with apples here. At that young age, if the kid really wants the mom, there's no way you can distract him/her from that feeling and can otherwise effectively teach (if there's really much to be taught to begin with). Having the parent(s) there can only help. Think about the alternative. And in some cases, the child is not even out of diapers yet. (remember 3=still diaper or potting training age)

I totally understand the attachment issue and it's a sensitive (and valid) one to the instructors. There had been times that I loved to strangle a few parents myself. But, typically that's applicable to kids a bit older, say 4 and above. I have 3 of my own who went through that stage through ski lessons and I have taught many little ones a few years back (even a mom-n-me or two) at a ski school. Like I indicated, babies/toddlers are typically there for the experience and not the skills. At least, the mom/dad can get something out of a mom-n-me from a lesson standpoint.

Just to put things in perspective... Our youngest was one of the ones that would start crying from the second she was dropped off and she would continue until she is picked up by us (even at a babysitter who had known her since birth). In fact, the day care at Smugglers' had to reject her from care (very reluctantly) and had her care handed to a private sitter. Believe me, we weren't there to provoke that. In fact, we were out skiing and they had signs at the lift houses calling for me. Do you want to "teach" a kid like that on your own? As soon as she got close to 4yo, the crying stopped and never did we get a complaint out of anyone since. Now that she's 7, instructors (at home mountain or away, including Smuggs) request for her to teach (no exageration) if they can smell her miles away (maybe a bit exageration).
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
I must massively disagee with the mom and me lesson. Nothing makes it harder than when the parent is present. The kid is looking for the mom for all input and the instructor gets major interference of the kids attention.
One more thing to add... In a mom-n-me (or dad-n-me -- I call it mom only because it has a better ring to it) class, you typically interacts with the parent and not the kid. Your job there is to teach the parent how to teach the kid. So, you DO want to kid to look to mom or dad for instruction and/or comfort. Again, this is not a typical ski lesson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
Let the instructor instruct and then play with the kid after their lesson and work on the stuff they were learning or just ski together and have a good time.
I am totally with you there.
post #13 of 21
We do a cool alternative for the very young . It's a snowplay lesson. You can get introduced by the parent to the child . The parent leaves them at our day care and we pick them up for snowplay. Usually we get them on skis for a lesson after taking them and getting them fitted with rental equipment but not necessarilly so. We can just take them around and let them experience the snow and the resort by just playing. Anything to get a good experience on the snow in their experience. We take them in for lunch and drop them back of at the day care after the snow play lesson in the afternoon.
post #14 of 21
Initial disclaimer: This discussion is interesting, though probably not of a lot of use to the original poster, since: (i) she asked the question over 2 months ago and (ii) has never posted again. I'll assume she read the initial answers, but I doubt she's reading any of this, even if she hasn't already done whatever she's done and (most likely) since put the skis away for the summer.

The key point on this whole "Mom 'n' Me" thing is the one made by chanwmr: it's all about age. There's a big difference between a 3-year-old (or even a 3-1/2-year-old) and a 5-year-old. A lot of ski schools won't take kids under 4. You're not going to accomplish a ton of detailed instruction with a kid that little, but you can help the kid have fun and absorb the basics of balance, a gliding wedge and stopping. It does seem to me that having the mom (or dad) there may well be an advantage. Kids that small have very little experience with the world outside of their home, and aren't really accustomed to dealing with adults other than mom and dad (okay, given the prevailing socio-economic background of skiers, perhaps nanny and preschool-teacher too, but they're more like stand-in moms, rather than teachers).

Things change pretty dramatically over the next few years. By 5 -- or definitely by, say, 7 -- a kid is going to be a better learner away from mom and dad.

My own experience: I taught my daughter her first season (age 3-1/2), mostly because there as no other option. The ski school wouldn't take kids under 4. I have been an instructor before, though; and I didn't try to teach her a whole ton -- gliding wedge, having fun, getting some miles under her to experience the feel and balance. Since then, she's taken lessons, and I make a point of not giving her any instruction at all myself, other than generalized encouragement.
post #15 of 21
Yeah, I didn't notice that date of OP either. Oh well. But, perhaps others may lurk here (or as a result of a search) and find this thread useful.
post #16 of 21
I agree with GarryZ that mom-n-me lessons can be a pain. But if they insist, I ask them to help. This season I had a 2 year old who I think had his umbilical cord still attached to his mom!. My ski school director tried to talk her out of the lesson, but she insisted. The fact that the kid was so attached to his Mom worked out to my advantage though, because I had the Mom do the demos and the kid copied her every move. This may not work with every kid, but it's worked for me with the little ones a number of times.

~Snowmiser~
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmiser View Post
I agree with GarryZ that mom-n-me lessons can be a pain.
That is precisely why most instructors run the other way when they sense one of these classes are coming. It takes a special breed. One typically finds him/herself stuck on the magic carpet for the duration of the lesson. Actually, he/she might as well unlatch the skis and get ready for a nice work out (mentally and physically).

BTW, you mentioned having the mom demo for a 2 yo. That is the exact objective of a mom-n-me. Most ski schools do not offer classes for just the kid at that age. (they like to have them potty trained) A good ski school should not expect anything different. That's why it's called "mom-n-me" and not "me-with-mommy-watching (crying optional)"
post #18 of 21
Without really claiming any particular expertise on the subject, it sounds to me like:

the only thing that's a bigger pain than lesson with a 3-year-old and a mother is a lesson with a 3-year-old and no mother.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
Without really claiming any particular expertise on the subject, it sounds to me like:
I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to skiing -- in any aspect. I can claim however that I've had good luck being a father (of skiing children) so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
the only thing that's a bigger pain than lesson with a 3-year-old and a mother is a lesson with a 3-year-old and no mother.
Yup, you got it.
post #20 of 21
I teach the Parent and Me lessons. The focus is on teaching the parent how to ski with and teach the kid.

It is a good idea for someone who is a good skier but does not know how to teach. It is a private so the parent and child interactions are not taking time from someone else's lesson.

The biggest pain is a parent who hovers around a group lesson, distracting their child.
post #21 of 21
Hi chanwmr!

We don't have a "Mommy and Me" program at our ski school yet, that's something that I'll suggest for next season. Our ski school director tried talking them out of the lesson, but they insisted. I had the Mom demo, because that was the only way I could get the kid moving. Glad to know that that's how it's supposed to be done. I've never taught a kid that young other than my own, which truly was a "Mommy & Me" lesson.

Thanks for the info. I agree that it's way better than the "Me with Mommy watching" lesson.

~Snowmiser~
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