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Tips for getting TO the slopes with small kids

Discussion in 'Family Skiing' started by MsWax, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. MsWax

    MsWax Certified Ski Diva

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    For our family, the hardest part about skiing as a family is getting everyone ready to go and out the door. My oldest (9) is pretty capable of putting his stuff on and getting himself ready, but still needs help buckling his boots. My middle guy (7) cries and complains that every piece of clothing hurts or doesn't feel right. We have to help him put on, take off, put on, take off, and put on again his socks, snow pants, and ski boots a million times. It's SUPER frustrating, exhausting, and long. This process can take 30-40 minutes! My little one (4) needs help with everything, which is normal, but getting him to stop doing whatever he was doing and actually let us help him get dressed takes almost as long as the frustrating loop with my middle guy.

    I feel like it's getting worse, not better, and it's really impacting how I feel about skiing lately. It's becoming not fun, which sucks! Once we get on the slopes, everyone is happy and enjoying themselves (mostly, they are still young kids with mood swings).

    We do the boots and stuff at the house to avoid a scene at the mountain. Any other suggestions to helping the process go a little smoother would be VERY much appreciated. This weekend I was ready to sell all my kids to the highest bidder!!!
     
  2. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    Yep, kids are different. I only have the one daughter but spend holiday weekends with a friends who has two, a boy and a girl. We started when the girl was 4 and her brother was 6. He was easy. Girl was . . . harder.

    See if any of the ideas in this Brave Ski Mom blog entry helps:
    https://braveskimom.com/ski-mom-secrets-for-new-ski-moms-and-dads

    Does the middle kid do the same when getting dressed in other situations?
     
  3. MsWax

    MsWax Certified Ski Diva

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    We do ALL those things (minus the boot dryers)!

    His clothing aversion is pretty much entirely reserved for ski clothes (and jeans). I'd think it was a delay tactic if he didn't LOVE skiing once we finally get on the mountain!
     
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  4. marzNC

    marzNC Angel Diva

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    I'm not surprised. A mother of three usually has stuff pretty well figured out. :smile:

    Are his ski clothes hand-me-downs from the oldest? What about the jeans?

    Is one day of tough love an option? Meaning that the ground rules are clearly laid out in advance about how long he has to get dress, and there is a clearly understood consequence you are willing to do. The most severe would be staying home with one parent. But could also be sitting in the lodge with a parent for 30 minutes while his siblings get out on the slopes. Meaning sitting and reading a book, not playing a video game on a phone or something considered more fun by a 7yo.

    Just a thought. Family dynamics are unique and I don't know you and your kids at all.
     
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  5. diymom

    diymom Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    When mine were younger, ok who are we kidding, I still do it with my sleepy teen, is donuts, cocoa, whatever on the way but ONLY if there is enough time. Dawdle too much and you are out of luck. If the others are eager to hit the slopes and parent #2 is available I might try taking the middle one in his pjs once and deal with things at the lodge at his pace, however slow and frustrating that might be . Maybe seeing the rest head out without him would be incentive. And maybe a lower stress situation without everyone waiting for him might help ease some of the clothing comfort issues. Grab a coffee, send the rest out, reassure middle kid you will catch up with the others once he is geared up, take a deep breath and take it from there. You might be calm as can be at home when trying to get ready, but for some just knowing they are delaying everyone (or anticipating that they might) can be anxiety inducing. And then minor annoyances, like the clothing issues, can magnify and seem insurmountable. Of course how much of a scene is made would be the determining factor for if I would try it a second time or not.

    My youngest had similar "quirks" around that age when she started skiing. Merino socks too itchy. Had to pull her buff just so over her head before her helmet, but the helmet often messed it up and then she would start again. Once you got past the boots and socks and helmet there were the mittens to deal with. Getting those tucked under her cuffs the right way ...and then usually they would need adjusting AFTER we were outside in the cold, and guess who had to take her mitts off to fix things? Sigh. But now I am just down to donut bribery to get her out of bed. Well, donut and caffeine at this point.
     
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  6. Kimmyt

    Kimmyt Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    I wonder if he would respond better to getting dressed at the hill? One more thing, but it might motivate him more since he is more enthusiastic once he is at the resort?

    My kids are both way younger so I don't really have much input otherwise (we get dressed at the hill in the warmth of the lodge and have a snack before going out!)
     
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  7. MsWax

    MsWax Certified Ski Diva

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    We iterated on this last year and found it better to get dressed at home, but he wasn't getting quite so worked up about it last year either. Maybe it's time to change it up a bit!

    Also, @diymom, I appreciate the commiseration as much as the advice! Sometimes it's just nice to know you're not alone. So thanks.
     
  8. CarverJill

    CarverJill Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    My son is already having a hard time with jeans and its only been cold enough for them this past week. He has always tended towards being sensitive about his clothing compared to his sister who will wear and be excited about most anything. DH was too young for ski lessons locally so I took them for a January sledding weekend instead. We still wore all the ski clothing so they got lots of practice with that. A few months later when we got up to Mammoth in March neither kid had any major issues with the clothing. Fingers crossed this year we will be okay skipping the clothing practice weekend
     
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  9. CarverJill

    CarverJill Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    Oops, not DH, I mean DD (my daughter)!
     
  10. Sheena

    Sheena Ski Diva Extraordinaire

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    My kids are still (fairly) young, my oldest *just* turned 7 and my younger two *just* turned 5. (OMG - WHY does that seem so old *sniff*)

    I have a large tupperware bin that all of the ski stuff goes in the night before, helmets with gloves and goggles put inside and boots, plus extra socks, and anything else we may need. Plus a bag with some snacks like granola bars or fruit snacks. They put out their long underwear and socks in their room ready for the next day at bed time. We get up, get a quick breakfast, and then everyone finishes getting ready. There is usually some sort of issue: things feel "crump-ly" according to my 5 year old daughter, whatever the f that means, I have no idea sometimes. My older daughter freaks out because her socks are "wrong". My son is pretty easy going - so that helps. lol. We make sure we have enough time to deal with whatever clothing issues there may be.

    After a few "episodes" in the parking lot, where any casual by-stander probably thought some sort of strange exorcism was going on, we instituted the rule that if something feels wrong, or you need extra help, screaming melt downs get you taken home.

    Once we get to the hill, my DH usually brings all the skis from the parking lot to the lodge, and I work on getting kids in their boots.

    Nothing is ever perfect though, and today my older dd put her boots on and I asked her if she was all set, and I got yesses all around, only to find out after her first run she never buckled her boots. And at the end of the day my younger daughter walked to the car screaming at me the whole time because it was time to go home, and I was mean and I obviously hated her because I would not let her stay.
     
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