How do you get your children to like skiing?

As we all know, skiing with your children isn't always easy. Children’s clothing product manager Michael talks to us about his vision and his experiences of skiing as a family. Advice not to be missed before you go on holiday!


Hi Michael! Tell us about your children:

I have 3 kids: Elona, the eldest, is 14. Inaya is 10 and the youngest, Niels, is 4.


At what age did you start taking them skiing with you, and how did their first attempts go?

They started learning to ski properly when they were about 3 or 4, using children’s skis with boots specially adapted to their feet. The winter before, they just took their first steps, experiencing what it was like to move along on uskis. From my experience as a dad, I know that under threes have a short concentration span, and it’s not easy to keep them on their skis. There are obviously a few exceptions, but in general young kids’ reasoning and judgement is not sufficiently developed to enable them to enjoy it.


What is it that they especially like about skiing?


Niels, for example, wanted to copy the grown-ups and do what mum, dad and his sisters were doing. This really motivated him to learn to ski! Basically, snow is something magical, a world of holiday-related fun that kids can learn to enjoy at an early age. Playing in the snow is still the most popular activity for young children. Trying out any snowsport, often starting with tobogganing, is a great introduction to the skills required for skiing and snowboarding.



How did you go about teaching them to ski? (Did they have an instructor, or did you teach them yourself?)

Like many parents, I thought I’d be able to teach my own kids to ski… but I was wrong! The ESF instructor taught them more in an hour and a half than I did in a whole week. So stick to what you know. Of course, it's not impossible to teach your kids to ski. But if you’re on holiday for a week, I’d advise you to book a few hours with a ski instructor. You'll see your child make quicker progress, and you'll then be able to enjoy the slopes together.



What are the most common difficulties that children encounter?


The equipment and clothing can present problems for young children. Ski boots that are too stiff, jackets and trousers that are too big, helmets that are too heavy, goggles that don't fit them properly, gloves that are hard to put on... Children then become dependent on adults to sort them out. That’s why Wed’ze has been working to improve all of these niggles. Our various product managers have been innovating and tweaking all of these products to make kids more comfortable, more independent and able to concentrate on just one thing: learning to ski or snowboard.



Despite the age differences, do you all manage to ski together? If so, how did you pull that off?

Ah, not yet. Last winter, Niels still couldn’t do what the girls could. We’ve let him progress at his own pace in the kids' snow club. This winter, I think we should be able to manage some family skiing on runs appropriate for his level, so there should be some fun times ahead!



If they start to get frustrated or if they can’t do something, what attitude do you take?

It’s pretty common for kids to get frustrated, just look around you on the slopes! Every parent knows their own child and reacts accordingly. You can't really give any proper advice about this. Personally, if one of my children is getting cross, I try to put things into perspective for them: “we’re here to have fun and enjoy ourselves, definitely not to get cross or hurt ourselves”. The best approach is to make sure there’s no pressure on your child and have plenty of patience!



To my mind, a day's skiing should be a day for sharing and having fun; great family time. Don’t set yourselves a target number of runs or times to beat, make sure you have a good lunch break, take in the panoramic views as much as possible, breathe in the mountain air and keep a smile on your face. Oh, and I forgot: the eldest has to take a selfie every 5 minutes ;-)


This is my own vision for family skiing, but everyone should be free to learn to ski or snowboard however they see fit. I can't give you any rules or tips; I can only share my own experience as a dad with you!


I hope you all have wonderful skiing holidays!