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Single Parenting Issues (and skiing)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I believe this is an issue that has been left unaddressed by the Ski Travel Industry. I am a single parent who wishes to continue my pursuit of the sport while providing a positive vacation experience for both my 7 yr. old son AND myself. Lessons provide an opportunity for both parent and child to ski with people of thier own ability and then hook up later to share meals or some runs together. How is a single parent supposed to have some adult evening time out without having to leave junior alone in the room with an expensive sitter who may or may not be trustworthy or reliable? It would be a wonderful thing if there was a way that single parents could pool thier resources for the common good. I don't know of one resort that has geared any of thier marketing to single parent families. Some ideas are as follows: #1 Group Trips. #2 Shared in-room babysitter costs. #3 Evening socials or the ability to hook up with other solo parents or singles for adult only group dinners. #4 Shared accomodations. I wish that there was a way to share a multi bedroom condo with a pre-screened individual with similiar needs. Resorts completely drop the ball after the lifts close. Dinner with your kid every night and TV then bed does not a vacation make! It would make for a much more rewarding ski vacation experience if I was able to have my child adequetly cared for with some other kids to play with or watch a video while I was able to share some apres ski time with other single adults. As a Parent I consider it a real joy and privilage to share my love for skiing with my son. I would also like to be able to get out and enjoy the commraderie of other Singles without having to deal with the percieved desperation of searching for a one on one short term relationship. There's a real void here. An enterprizing individual or company could carve out a sweet little market niche by providing ski trips for Single Parents. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Sincerely, sundog

[ October 07, 2002, 09:42 AM: Message edited by: dchan ]
post #2 of 13
I stay at the THREDBO YOUTH HOSTEL for about 4 weeks every year.

It is a haven for single parent families(or those where one parent won't/can't ski). They often find compatible families to ski/socialise with
post #3 of 13
As a new single parent I have to agree with you. Though I am considering a trip to Steamboat which has an evening "kids camp" type of thing. It has supervised activities for children and gives parent(s) a night out, though it is not cheap. Info on their website.

Pooled accomodations would be a risky thing, I think. If it worked out, it would be great, but I would hate to ruin a trip I had been looking forward to all year because my roomates were aweful. Too much of a crap shoot for my taste.
post #4 of 13
Have to agree... most resorts do NOT make it easy to get some non kid time for singles. Those that do, charge two arms and three legs for the privilidge.

My solution to this, was to join a local ski club that caters to kids. These day's I'm lucky to even SEE my kid who is off covorting and having a good ol time with the other short people, leaving the adults to sit back and enjoy a beer.

Of course, I get my TRUE vacation once a year when I leave my son with my x and covort myself!
post #5 of 13
I think moving from Ft. Myers, FLA would be a start...somewhere closer where u can day trip, Boston, Denver, Northern Cal - then u can hook up with others in the same boat

[ October 07, 2002, 08:58 AM: Message edited by: DaveV ]
post #6 of 13
Mt. Tremblant has a pretty complete kids program-kids only "clubs", activities, etc-I think if you look you'll find lots of other resorts are adding similar programs
post #7 of 13
Easier said than done, but surely the best way is to find some friends/neighbours/acquaintances with kids of a similar age & share an appartment with them.

If you're rich of course you bring the nanny with you.
post #8 of 13
Think about this from your kid's perspective. You're taking your son to the resort on "vacation", but you're putting the boy in ski school for the day and then you want to put him with someone else for the evening. What kind of sharing is that?

I don't have any problem with folks putting children in lessons or even all-day programs that will lead to their enjoyment of skiing more than being berated about their skills (or lack thereof) by a parent, but they should be sharing the rest of the trip experiences. Otherwise it's not a vacation together, it's them dragging the kid along on their trip.

If you want "night life" excitement as part of a ski trip, go by yourself. Take your kid skiing like you'd take him to a ball game or DisneyLand.
post #9 of 13
I think most major ski resorts have at least one "kid's night out" program per week, that would allow some free time for the parent. While Kneale's point is well taken, I think there's a difference between finding one or two night-time activities for your kid and abandonment. In my last trip with my then six year old, his favorite evening during the ski trip was the kid's night out program. I think he would have done it every night if it was offered (and if we would have let him.)
post #10 of 13
I had a thought similar to Kneale. What you describe is not a problem of being a single parent, but of being a parent. If you were married, you would still want to have the nightlife and would be looking for someone to take care of your child. You wouldn't expect that your spouse would stay home, right?

We went to Steamboat with my then 3 1/2 year old last year and he enrolled in the half day kids program and we took morning lessons (nearly first timers) for each of the first three days. We hoped that he would get good enough to go on the bunny slopes but he really didn't. At least we didn't feel comfortable enough with our skills to be able to help him if he got in trouble. So we spent more time in town and at the resort. Took the tram all the way up just to show him, went to the children's museum in town, etc.

To me, travelling with kids is totally different than travelling as adults. I would be extremely reluctant to leave my child with a baby sitter in a strange city. I'm more comfortable with organized day-care/playgroup type environments simply because there's more people around, but they're generally more expensive.

Good luck with whatever you decide,
post #11 of 13
I think the problem here is the fact that you only have one ski vacation a year (am I right?).

The best way round this is to take one with the kids and one on your own. That way you all get the "devotion" required.

With my two (now 7 & 9) basically I took the 9 year old on his own when he was 6 and we stayed in a lodge on snow with a kids club. The main bar for the resort was in the same lodge so I could catch up with my mates and one night they all joined us for dinner so as to "include" #1 son. The next year it was #2s turn and #1 played second fiddle. The next season #2 was out on the hill and with some usage of morning and evening classes I was able to ski alone, together, individually, get a few hours work time at the lodge AND do a little socializing with the boys in tow. Now both boys ski BUT I let them know that they have to share DAD as they are different levels. I get some skiing in while they are in SS + some on hill time individually + some all together. In a couple of years we will be skiing everywhere together no problem.

Find some ski friends, join a club, find a lodge with a kids club or take a personal ski time vacation. Ask around at your kids school for other single Dads. When with the kids make it easy and just go with the flow as a "family" holiday.

These days I take a couple of cousins skiing as well BUT I do have another single Dad to stay with in the mountains. He uses my place on the coast for summer vacations. This winter three single Dads had 8 kids under 10 under one room for 4 days of mayhem .... The Dads just socialized in house after the kids had gone to bed ... which is early after skiing all day.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 13
I have a hard time relating to your problem, but then again, I live in snow country, and I don't have to limit myself to a vacation at a resort.

My son is 8 and has been skiing since he was 3. At first, I used the ski school as an opportunity to get out and make some turns when I traveled, but that isn't an option any more. I've found that ski resorts (especially the big ones) can't deal with a 7yo skiing level 6 or 7. The last time, they stuck him in a level 4 class, becasue all of the other level 6 students were teens. So now when we travel together, we ski together. At this point it works out, because he is an exteremely good powder skier and he prefers upper blue or black level runs and glades. Okay by me!

At home he does 16 days each season in race lessons, which are geared toward his capabilities. That gives me those days to ski where I please.

Evenings when we travel, we find things to do together. Often, we'll pull out the shovels and build snow forts, have snowball fights with the tram operator, or amke fools of ourselves on our snowboards.

Basically, if I want to socialize, I travel without him. If he is along, then we do dad-son things. Yeah, you have to give something up, but isn't that true of choosing to be a parent?
post #13 of 13
My thoughts are running right along with Kneile, Larry, and Harry. I think I got the names right. Being a parent is probably one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in life. Ski with them as much as you can, there'll come a time when you won't be able to buy a run with your kid. Enjoy it while it lasts. [img]smile.gif[/img]
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