Tips for Parents | Teaching kids to ski at Tahoe Donner | SierraSun.com

Tips for Parents | Teaching kids to ski at Tahoe Donner

Robert McClendon
Tahoe Donner Ski Hill Manager
Photo courtesy Tahoe Donner Association
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Parents who are expert skiers can be surprised to learn that teaching kids requires different techniques than teaching adults.

Good terrain has a different meaning for young learners, according to Dave Walker, Tahoe Donnerand#8217;s Ski and Snowboard School Director. and#8220;Ideally, you should have a flat groomed surface. Remember that a few inches of chopped up powder is great for you, but it is knee-deep moguls to your kids.and#8221;

Walker recommends keeping learners on very easy terrain, much flatter than you would probably think. and#8220;You should be doing what is best for them, even if it seems flat and boring to you. If your child is scared of a particular slope, take them to an easier one until they feel ready,and#8221; he said.

Chelle Sonder, Tahoe Donnerand#8217;s Snowflakes Ski School Supervisor, suggests using fun terminology to help explain skills concepts. and#8220;Pizzaand#8221; means form a wedge or snowplow. and#8220;French Friesand#8221; is for parallel skis. and#8220;Peanut Butter and Jellyand#8221; are sidesteps up the hill and#8212; one foot is peanut butter, the other is jelly. and#8220;Red Light, Green Lightand#8221; is a great game for slowing down the kids before they get to the lift lines.

Some parents buy equipment that is too big so it will last a couple of seasons. But itand#8217;s better to rent properly sized gear. and#8220;Skiing in boots or skis two sizes too big is an injury waiting to happen,and#8221; said Sonder.

And when patience runs thin or youand#8217;re ready for some time to yourself to enjoy the slopes, think about a childrenand#8217;s ski school. Most children will learn happily from instructors who arenand#8217;t also their parents.

Learn more about Tahoe Donnerand#8217;s Snowflakes program and lessons at http://www.skitahoedonner.com, call 587-9444, 11603 Snowpeak Way, Truckee.