Demand this year for kids’ ski and snowboard lessons will likely be high, and many programs for younger kids who need more supervision might not be available. That doesn’t mean you should abandon your plans for skiing with your child this season, but you may consider spending more time teaching them yourself.
Nate Peck, a 49 Degrees North local and former assistant director of 49’s ski school, offers up some great advice for parents looking to teach their kids to ski this winter. “Focus on the experience and not the progress—the progress comes but not in the first few sessions. Be patient. If you can have fun, you can keep going. Kids will relax and learn so much faster,” says Peck. “It’s so tempting to pull your child one lift further, or one more run. We’ve done it—gone too high on the mountain, (or skied when) too windy. To a kid, success is fun.”
Logistical planning is also important. He recommends preparing a big bag with everything you might need on the mountain to maximize your child’s energy, such as meals, snacks, and “how you’re going to stay warm,” he says. Handwarmers and Hershey’s kisses have been especially helpful for teaching his own young kids to ski. Figure out what works best to encourage and motivate your kids, then do that every time you’re on the mountain.