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Helping your kid through a crisis of confidence

Knitjenious

Angel Diva
Wise ski divas, looking for your thoughts. Mostly theoretical at this point, because our season is probably done after today, maybe one more weekend.

My daughter is 10 and this was her 4th season skiing. She did lessons for 3 years. We didn't do lessons this year in an effort to cut down on COVID exposure risks.

At the end of last season and early this season, I would have said she was an intermediate skier: she could do blues and on a good snow days easy black diamonds at our old home hill. She frankly was outskiing me, with control, mostly parallel turns, and having fun with it. She is generally a pretty risk-averse kid who doesn't overstretch her boundaries in terms of speed/terrain.

About 3-4 weeks ago, her rental boots were getting uncomfortably narrow. We swapped them out for new boots, right around the same time that we switched ski areas and the snow texture started to fluctuate. And she Just. Couldn't. Take it. She retreated to the beginner hill of the new area, could barely be coaxed onto the one main hill that is wide, easy blue top and green bottom.

Writing it out, it is a lot of changes at once. Gear could definitely be a factor. But it makes me despair of ever being able to travel to ski if the idea of new terrain is so overwhelming. And sad to see her struggle with this hobby she genuinely loves. Next year will be a new start, with new equipment, probably a growth spurt that shifts her center of balance (plus a dose of tween awkwardness thrown in...)

So, advice? Or just some commiseration and humor to help me keep my patience? For any frustration I might express here, know I am really working to just meet her where she's at and preserve her joy for skiing. And next year, BACK TO LESSONS.
 

BackCountryGirl

Angel Diva
Kids change all the time, right? Who knows why she regressed, but it sounds as if you have done everything right by NOT pressuring her and letting her choose the terrain she wanted, but not letting her give up. I know from my experience as a parent and an instructor that lessons are fun for kids and kids can help push each other. Is there a seasonal or multi week program nearby that would enable her to ski weekly with the same instructor and kids?
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Observations:
1) lots of changes
2) body and brain chemistry changing
3) context driven anxiety from COVID

ideas:
A) ask her if she knows what threw her, or if it was just everything.... maybe mapping it out on paper?
B) keep on giving her space and your support... she knows how to ski, as a team you will find her the tools she needs to get it back to happy
C) remind her that she CAN do this, and that should be her mindset. Lessons bring skills and you can buy tools... but only she can control her mindset.
D) fear is natural. What are her fears and what would she tell a friend feeling the same fears?
 

Knitjenious

Angel Diva
Is there a seasonal or multi week program nearby that would enable her to ski weekly with the same instructor and kids?

That is totally the plan for next season and part of why we joined this family ski area for next year-- higher-quality, cohort-based lessons with a big same-age social element. I do think that will help.

Observations:
1) lots of changes
2) body and brain chemistry changing
3) context driven anxiety from COVID

She is also just an anxious kid. (Like has a 504 plan for school and a therapist since she was 6 for anxiety.) Plus in-person school was supposed to restart for her tomorrow after a full year away. But a ransomware cyberattack has taken down our school district and now there is no school tomorrow at all.

So like, of course! I should have connected the school anxiety dots with the ski anxiety dots. (This is why I posted, because it is so SIMPLE when other people look at things.) I do appreciate that skiing us her "growth mindset" thing ... many things come easy to her, and it can be overwhelming to discover something one must work really hard at. But she always comes back to skiing.
 

jumperlass

Certified Ski Diva
About 3-4 weeks ago, her rental boots were getting uncomfortably narrow. We swapped them out for new boots, right around the same time that we switched ski areas and the snow texture started to fluctuate. And she Just. Couldn't. Take it. She retreated to the beginner hill of the new area, could barely be coaxed onto the one main hill that is wide, easy blue top and green bottom.

Writing it out, it is a lot of changes at once.

I’m no expert, but I have kids around that age. I’m wondering...assuming you still have a pass to your “old, home hill”, maybe you could do a day there in your last weekend of skiing this season? A day of adjusting to the replacement boots and the variable snow, but on familiar hills? Maybe you could even do a morning there and an afternoon at the new home hill? Or a Saturday and a Sunday? This is assuming they’re reasonably close, of course, and that access isn’t an issue. (I read all the posts yesterday but have forgotten today if you, say, moved to a new town.) But maybe a transition would help her end the season on a better note. Maybe even on a better note at your new ski home.

And yeah, your plan of lessons with an age cohort at the new home hill sounds great for next year. I’m just thinking that if she’s like mine, you’ll have a less anxious start to the season if this one ends on a less freaked-out note.
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That is totally the plan for next season and part of why we joined this family ski area for next year-- higher-quality, cohort-based lessons with a big same-age social element. I do think that will help.



She is also just an anxious kid. (Like has a 504 plan for school and a therapist since she was 6 for anxiety.) Plus in-person school was supposed to restart for her tomorrow after a full year away. But a ransomware cyberattack has taken down our school district and now there is no school tomorrow at all.

I was thinking about you, @Knitjenious ... did they figure out their technology? That waiting for the shoe to drop before going back... UGH.

I was really lucky that I had the flexibility when my son had a random “off” day like that this year, I was able to take him skiing for a shared private lesson. He fought it (12 yo) before we went, and then on our 6th lift ride, he looked at me and said, “this was great, Mom” and I almost cried with joy, but then my goggles would have fogged.

they’re so much work and yet they’re really such interesting creatures.
 

Knitjenious

Angel Diva
I was thinking about you, @Knitjenious ... did they figure out their technology? That waiting for the shoe to drop before going back... UGH.

Well, sort of? Still no in person tomorrow, but they are restoring core systems and there are virtual "office hours" tomorrow to learn how to log into programs in a new way as a stop-gap. But now my daughter will have to wait until at least next week until it is her in-person day again since we are hybrid.

Thanks to all for the support and commiseration and ideas. It is hard not to be overwhelmed sometimes by the ever-changing nature of tweens! :smile:
 

Iwannaski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
with a 12 year old boy and a 9 year old girl, I’m in it... I’ll have a middle schooler for the next 6 years. So, my “reed in the wind” mantra is really just getting going.

I was thinking about it this morning, though. When they’re little, they need us *SO* much. And now, everything in them - their brains, their friends, their environment - is telling them they don’t need us so much. And, truth be told, they don’t really need us for as many things. And so I think as a parent, it’s easy to feel really hurt.

But. They really do need us - and they need us for HUGE things, obviously - so we can just keep being there, and being consistent, and being patient, and they’ll eventually get through it. This time is FAR MORE about them changing than anything about us.

(That’s as much a pep talk for me as for you)
:rotf:
 

floatingyardsale

Certified Ski Diva
My kids are younger, but with one week left in the season, I'd just follow her lead regarding where she wants to ski. If she wants a day of that easy blue, just roll with it. Play it as "it's reasonable to feel nervous with so much change. You pick where you want to go today."

You'll start up with lessons next season when there's no Covid-19, and she'll adjust to the new boots then, and likely be back to her old self early in the season.
 

Knitjenious

Angel Diva
I talked to her at bedtime tonight, and she said she just wants to have time to stay home and relax this weekend. So I think her year is probably done, but she said she did enjoy just working on stuff on the beginner hill this past weekend and I am not worried she is ending the season feeling frustrated. (Unlike 3 years ago when she had a kinda bad crash in March and we drove an extra 30 min away to go to Holiday Valley just to get her back out one more time!)

But our new place is gonna be open for a few hours over the weekend, so maybe I can persuade my husband that it's my turn to get to go alone! :ski2:
 

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