We often joke that when we’re not skiing, our family is talking about skiing. We suspect we’re not the only ones.
With the end of the North American ski season upon us, here are some ideas to keep your family talking about skiing while you wrap up this ski season on a positive note, preserve some special memories and build stoke for next year.
Let’s Talk About Skiing!
Find a relaxed time, when you’ve got at least 15 minutes, to chat with your child. Depending upon the willingness of your child, it might be really special to video or record this conversation. Alternatively, the answers can be written, either by you or your child. Older kids may just want to think about these questions and answer them on their own.
Before you start talking, pull up some special photos or video that you took this season. Gather up trail maps from each resort you skied and start by recapping the winter.
- What is your favorite memory from this ski season?
- What was the best thing you did?
- Where did have the most fun skiing?
- What was your favorite run?
- Was their anything you didn’t like? How can you avoid doing this again? (For example, my son broke his arm this winter. Not something any of us want to repeat.)
Some answers may be short. Some answers may be long. But you’re guaranteed to be surprised by some of the responses you get.
Progression is a big deal. It’s how all of us — kids and adults — mark our skiing progress. Progression can be as clear as moving from green to blue runs, or skiing a double black for the first time. Especially for small children, progression can include buckling boots and clicking into skis independently. Progression for your child may mean skiing just with friends (no parents allowed!) or mastering a feature in the terrain park. If your child ski races or competes in freestyle, progression may include official times and results. It can also include specific feedback from instructors as to what was learned in lessons and which level of lessons are appropriate next winter.
Progression is something to celebrate! Make this list as long as you can.
- What did you learn about skiing this winter?
- What new skills did you learn?
- What did you do that you had never done before?
- What was the best thing you learned about skiing?
- What was the best thing that you did while skiing?
- Did you learn anything that will help you ski better?
- Did you learn anything that will help you stay safe when you’re skiing?
- What do you want to learn next winter?
- What do you want to remember from this season to help you ski your best next season? (This one is especially important if your child learned some specific tips or cues that help her ski better.)
Goal setting is fun. It’s a chance for your child to dream big!
Again, build as long a list as you can. Goals can be as specific as skiing the longest/steepest/hardest run on the mountain, learning to ski moguls, learning to ride switch, skiing at a specific resort or joining a racing club. Even if you don’t think a specific goal can be met next year (say, ski 100 days or ski in the Olympics), note these goals and ask your child what would need to happen for these goals to become a reality.
- What are your goals for next ski season?
- Is there something new you want to try?
- Are their specific runs you want to ski?
- Is there something you want to learn?
- Where do you want to ski next year?
- What are your skiing goals just for you?
- What are your skiing goals for our family?
- Do you have any goals we haven’t talked about?
Turn All this Talk into a Memento You’ll Treasure
I’m a sentimental mom and I own it. Thus, when given the opportunity to create a photo album or a video that features my children, I’m all over it. If you’re like me, consider compiling these answers (or at least the best of them!), along with photos or video of your child and family skiing into a short video. Feature your child talking about the milestones she reached on snow this season and the goals he has for future winter fun.
Alternatively, give your child a journal in which to answer these skiing questions and save photos, stickers, lift passes and trail maps. Adding to the journal each year will create a record not only of progression, but of special memories.