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Am I super uptight?

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
So, DH thinks I overreact at parents who I think have failed their kids before putting them on skis (an inherently risky activity that does require some training and rule-following to be safe).

As my kids have been learning, I’ve seen so many middle schoolers who have been put on the slopes without lessons, basic skills and the tools for responsibility or survival around other skiers/snowboarders.

I’m sad for these kids, because they’re not getting the best experience or exposure to the sport, and I’m scared for my kids (especially the smaller, more cautious one, who is still working her way off the green).

In the last month, I’ve seen an out of control girl ski up a hill/onto a patio (!!!), I’ve seen another who cannot control her speed scream “MOVE” at people in a line because she couldn’t stop or turn, and then the same girl fall halfway down a green and have NO IDEA how to get her skis back on to get down the hill (she shouldered them and walked down after failing to get back in). I recognize my privilege in at least understanding skiing before taking my kids for lessons, and that not everyone has that. But I also wouldn’t have sent my son with friends if I didn’t think he could make safe choices. He’s 12, not an adult, and still my responsibility, right?

Where does the responsibility for not putting 100ish lbs of out of control human on two rails at 35 mph belong? The resort that needs money? The parents who may not know anything about skiing? NO way it belongs with a middle schooler.

Am I uptight about this? DH says I need to chill. I told my friends who have 3rd graders to make sure they learned how to ski before the peer environment of middle school turned them into deadly weapons. I would love some perspective.
 

Leesa

Diva in Training
My children are younger than yours, but I agree that I would never send them skiing without me unless I was absolutely sure they were competent, able to watch after themselves, and mature enough to make good choices.

What does he mean by overreact? Have you said anything to these parents, or does he just mean that he thinks your opinion is too rigid?
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
He laughs at me when I point out how infuriating it is. He says it shouldn’t be an issue and that it’s probably “just fine” ...

Mind you, this is a man who hasn’t been on skis in 20 years, so I look forward to hearing his hot take on the matter next year when he boots up after two Achilles ruptures.
:goodluck:
*eye roll* you can tell we’re very sympathetic here. I blame the winter.

:rotf:

Because both of the girls I mentioned in my original came VERY close to hurting themselves badly. The one who skied onto the patio made it about 4-5 feet in, and 8 feet in is a fire pit which would DEFINITELY have stopped her. Think about how fast she was going that she made it up an 8 ft embankment and a few feet onto the patio.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
That sucks. There was a diva here hurt by an out of control kid in the last couple years. If this all happening at the same ski area I'd send them an email. They can do a better job of ski patrol intersecting these kids, and if they choose not to, you can let them know you're taking your money elsewhere.
 

Cyclone6

Certified Ski Diva
I was nearly hit by a kid doing 90 mph pizza, no turning, down a steep, icy slope a few weeks ago. His parents were skiing behind him, and were skilled skiers. They didn't seem to see any problem with this. Neither of them said anything to me, or him, after he almost took me out. My take on the situation is that they wanted to ski something up to their level and just dragged him with. This isn't good for the kid, or anyone else in his way. I thought about saying something to the parents when they caught up to me in the lift line, but I'm just not very confrontational.

As an aside, my family used to ski with my mom's stepdad when I was a kid. He was a very good skier, but was also kind of a jerk. He made me go down a black run that I was not ready for. I didn't crash, but it wasn't pretty, and I didn't have fun. I remember him screaming at me from the bottom of the hill. Bad day. My dad found out later and gave him a stern talking-to. We never skied with him again.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am wondering if these kids are out there winging it because the mountains have cancelled they day-long programs for kids. I know my mountain cancelled that program.

The circumstances are different this year because of the virus. But parents are still to blame for responding to those circumstances by letting kids run wild. The mountains need to post ski patrol on the runs where this happens and have them deal with it as traffic control agents, pulling parent's passes after a warning.

General rule:
Don't let kids straight-line (or any skier really). Straight-lining on a trail should NEVER happen. This should be on the skier responsibility code. And instructors teaching beginners should stop teaching a straight run in a wedge. That's a no-go, waaay too common.
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh, I’m pretty sure the parents were at the bar, because when I went in to use the restroom, the bar was PACKED with people drinking and laughing. It was an interesting voyage to a place without a pandemic, apparently. :bolt:

This particular place has insanely inexpensive group lessons, but my guess is that the middle schoolers just skip them (too cool) or they’re too boring (very slow, DD loved them, because they really enabled her to achieve mastery of basic skills). I wouldn’t let her onto the regular green until she could show me turns in a wedge because I needed her to be able to feel confident and in control so she would want to ski.

What makes me sad is that parents of someone who is still not that old could just NOT CARE about their safety like that. That must mean what DH is saying. That I need to just let their parenting go.

So, the conclusion I’m drawing is that I MAY be uptight (obviously the parents of these kids would think so, I don‘t know them - many of my friends/kids’ friends parents are outside either skiing or learning to ski) But I’m not wrong.

I like the idea of communicating my concerns to the ground team.
 

newboots

Angel Diva
I am uptight about all kinds of things, but I try to keep my rants to a minimum. Our unfortunate family members and partners are subjected to the anxiety and righteous-indignation of these tirades. All sorts of things bother me - people without masks, out-of-control skiers, making a right turn on red without stopping, littering, not picking up your dog's poop - you name it!

I try to be more live-and-let-live, but it's hard when one is so responsible and others are not!
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Great framing. My husband’s issue is the dog poop - maybe I can get him to see my issue as not too different from the poop!

I really do try to not judge peoples’ parenting. But this issue is such a core safety issue...
If your kids ride their bikes without helmets, I can let that go.
If your kids pose a threat to my kid‘s welfare, watch out. MAMA BEAR. ;)
 

newboots

Angel Diva
I really do try to not judge peoples’ parenting.

You're a better person than I.

My biggest pet peeve used to be parents with little kids in strollers at the mall, screaming because their kids were screaming. The kids were screaming because it was 1:30 and they weren't having a nap. I was a nap Nazi. Go home! Put your kid to bed! They'll be happier, you'll be happier, and everybody will stop screaming!
 

snoWYmonkey

Angel Diva
I suspect that the same parents that think it is funny to watch their kids not turn and straight line the pizza are the ones that let their slightly older kids loose with no supervision.

I have witnessed a very well known ski film industry local figure as his ver young daughter almost took out my timid beginner students while he kept encouraging her to go faster straight down a green run. Sure enough, now she is on the race team, but still not cool at all.

It would be great but creepy if we had videos and the patrol necessary to show the parents what their kids were up as they get their day passes pulled for disobeying the skier's responsibility code. It does get tricky though. Is it OK for me to go straight on an empty green with 100 per cent ability to see what is ahead of me for over a 100 yards, but not OK for someone else who is not quite as in control.

While kids are all different, their ability to follow rules is actually surprisingly good. It does require constant reminders, and enforcement of consequences for breaking those rules. Neither of which happens for a large majority of kids skiing at large without adults, especially in packs.

Would be cool if kids had to take a yearly refresher course of say half an hour to before being set free...maybe adults too. A little like the driver's license renewal tests.
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I used to help out with our middle and high school ski club, which took kids to a place in the Poconos once a week. Myself and one other high school teacher were the only adults on our staff who were actually out skiing. Our own middle school staff spent the evening at tables in the back of the lodge grading homework or playing Scrabble. The same seemed to be true for most of the adults from other schools.

Most of the parents who sent kids on the club trips were looking for a way to introduce their kids to skiing, but the kids didn't want to take lessons so mostly skipped them in favor of bombing around with their friends.

My colleague and I did our best to keep eyes on the kids we knew, and to encourage good behavior but in the end, the culture of the club, peer pressure, and inattention from the adults in charge made our task pretty futile. Almost every other kid on the mountain was a straightlining meat-rocket, so we seemed unreasonable to the kids when we asked them to be more responsible and in control.

I was always pretty salty about it because I ran the high-school outing program at the time, and it's no accident that our group had a reputation for being responsible, conscientious stewards as well as kind and inclusive with each other. My staff and I, along with some great kids in leadership positions, fostered that atmosphere very deliberately. I could never understand (and was always embarrassed by) the apathy of the ski club adults who allowed kids to act like dangerous jerks with no interest in learning how to ski well.

So yeah, I agree with you, @Iwannaski ; what you're describing is a failure of adults to encourage and demand better behavior from kids. I'll do everyone a favor here and spare you my rant about race team kids and their behavior!
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
A long time ago I was hanging around my nieces. They had a relative who lived by Banff and had spent a bit of time visiting and skiing. Their parents were not skiers and really where they lived was not super conducive to skiing. So they just dabbled, so to speak. I was getting into skiing at the time and was talking to them about their recent trip to Banff and they mentioned that they didn't really know how to stop and sometimes they just liked to run into people to stop. I'm sure a lot of that was childish exaggeration, but oh I let them have it.

Now, I'm a parent of two kids that are early skiers. I am super duper intense about safety on the slopes with them. I try not to be the 'no fun' parent, but I also make sure they know about responsible and irresponsible behavior on the slopes. I haven't ever called out a parent about their kids poor behavior but if the kid is pre-teens or so and should know better, I won't hesitate to let them know that they're stopped on a blind spot of the trail or that they shouldn't ski so close to my beginner skiing son because it could get themselves or my son hurt. When I was skiing with my 6yo last trip we took to Taos a snowboarder cut us off on a wide open slope and my son yelled at him, which honestly cracked me up and made me so proud.

I do make sure that my kids know that ultimately they are responsible for their own safety, we can't trust others to make smart choices so we have to basically have our heads on a swivel.

I think a lot of this type of behavior comes from kids whose parents aren't skiers. The parents dont know the safety and the rules and think that if their kids can ski then thats all there is to it, when really kids need a lot of discussion around the nuance of the safety rules. My 6yo didn't inherently know WHY cutting someone off isn't good when he does it to someone inadvertantly and I bring it to his attention, but after he got cut off we talked about how that person could have caught an edge and fell and then he would have fallen, or how it could have startled him and made him tumble etc, so now he knows that cutting people off isn't cool (well, I hope he knows, its been a while since he was on skis thanks to Covid).
 

SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
follow rules is actually surprisingly good. It does require constant reminders, and enforcement of consequences for breaking those rules. Neither of which happens for a large majority of kids

For me it’s this. Parents are looking for their “time off” too. Unless you have already laid the foundation and expectations kids are not going to know the boundaries. As my MIL is prone to say “If having good kids was easy everyone would have them.” It takes a lot of work and in our fast paced instant gratification cultures things that are a lot of work don’t necessarily happen.
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
For me it’s this. Parents are looking for their “time off” too. Unless you have already laid the foundation and expectations kids are not going to know the boundaries. As my MIL is prone to say “If having good kids was easy everyone would have them.” It takes a lot of work and in our fast paced instant gratification cultures things that are a lot of work don’t necessarily happen.

This is also very true. As I said in my post above, I try not to be the 'no fun' parent but honestly I probably am. I'm ALWAYS on my kids about safety. We can have fun, ski the trees, find some things to jump off of, pretend we are airplanes skiing down a run etc but we always need to be safe. It gets exhausting at times, honestly.

Also, don't forget that kids are kids. And when they get some freedom, no matter how much they know the rules, they might make bad choices and be unsafe. Because they're kids. I have no doubt that even if my kids know the safety and the rules, at some point they will be skiing by themselves when they are older and they will probably make some unsafe choices. I would hope that they won't, but lets be honest they probably will. One can only hope the choices they make won't end up with them hurting someone or themselves, and i'll do my darnedest before that to try and prevent anything like that happening but at some point they are going to be making their own choices and we all did dumb things when we were young so a little bit of that is to be expected.
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Side note, how can you even do a pizza on anything beyond a green? (I don’t think you can, hence the straight line bombing, I guess) Just the thought, though, makes my middle aged lady knees hurt. OW.

Peer pressure is a pretty powerful drug. It’s funny, my friend’s daughter goes and hangs out with her buddies (8th graders) and none of us are allowed to acknowledge or talk to her while we are there. She’s like a daughter to me, and she said to us, “I don‘t care what bad choices my friends are making, you are NOT allowed to say anything.”

Her mom and I really try hard not to see anything. LOL
 

snoWYmonkey

Angel Diva
@SallyCat I sadly agree with the race club part. Many of the coaches are great at the ski part, but barely out of school themselves, and have not been taught the class handling skills that instructors get drilled into them before taking out a group. We have both in house (ski resort school) race teams and local ski club race teams. Their kids just this week, a about 18 girls all under ten, cut into the ski school lift line. I kindly asked them where there coaches were and they shrugged their shoulders and told me in their tiny little girl voices that they did not know. It turned out that the coaches were all at the top of the lift, clueless to the fact that their kids used the staff (resort not ski club staff line). I did not show any frustration directly with the kids as the responsibility is not theirs. However, my ski school director likely reached out with a friendly reminder to keep tabs on the kids. They are better skiers at a young age than most of us, but their brains are not yet making the wisest decisions and need a touch of guidance. Ironically the ski club park and pipe and big mountain skiing coaches do a much better job at group handling... Who would have thought?
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
... It does get tricky though. Is it OK for me to go straight on an empty green with 100 per cent ability to see what is ahead of me for over a 100 yards, but not OK for someone else who is not quite as in control....
Well, yes, there's that. So right. Straight is sometimes just fine.

SO a nice big sign in the middle of some lower pitch trails saying "No Straight-lining" needs to be put up where the kids tend to head downhill in a power wedge, and patrol needs to enforce it.
 

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