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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiracer88_00 View Post
    One more, once they are old enough to deal with the craziness, take them to ski movie premiers (TGR/Matchstick etc.) in the fall to get them stoked for the season. The excitement and energy at those premiers is infectious. My son is 15 and still cherishes each and every signed ski poster on his wall from those premiers when he was little.
    Someone set up a projector and brought a Warren Miller movie to our cub scout pack meeting when I was a grom back in Minnesota mid 1970s.. I think it was This Is Winter. BIG HIT for the kids..
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  2. #27
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    All dads fuck up. It's the nature of dads. I fucked up with both my kids--too hard of a run, weather too bad, impatience. One became a ski patroller for a couple of years, the other is more into ice climbing but he likes to ski as well (he's the one that ski patrol took down on a snow cat because the weather was so miserable.)

    Hint--when the weather is so bad that the only lift open is the magic carpet, stay home. (Not unusual at Olympic Valley).

  3. #28
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    About the time they're 5 get them their own gear/boot bag backpack and stuff to bring.. helmet, gloves, neck gator, etc...

    BUT, keep a spare pair of kids gloves and socks in YOUR boot bag too.. TRUST ME HAHAHAHA!
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  4. #29
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    It will not always be about 'fun'. I know some disagree, and I've rattled endlessly about this in the kid stoke thread. Sometimes it will suck, and many times they will resist with every once of their being to going. Go anyway. They're little kids. You're the parent, Take charge. You wouldn't give in if they threw a tantrum about when to cross the street, would you? It's more about "this is what we do".

    At some point, after they're acclimated to 'this is what we do', you will find out if they actually like it. You may get lucky or not. I hope you do.

    Hire a (good, vetted, properly oriented to little kids) professional to teach them. Then leave. Don't hover. When the lesson's over go ski with them and don't coach or teach. That's where the most fun will happen. And yes, you will give up many, many pow days for a number of years. It's worth it.

    Keep them in some sort of program as long as you can, as young as you can. At some point this will get good technique in their bones, which they'll then have for the rest of their lives. Racing programs especially.

    Just don't fall into the trap of expectations and performance. Just support them doing their best, whatever that is. This will also build a community of other kids for them to ski with. That's huge. Friends are great to bring along, but if they're miles from your kids' skill level it will suck for everyone. Go ski with them at the end of the day, don't teach, don't coach. Just rip around.

    Lather, rinse, repeat as long as you can keep it going. It will be a sometimes arduous road, and in 20 years you won't regret a second of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  5. #30
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    Former kids instructor here (high school and college part time, then 1 yr full time), fwiw. My daughter first slid on rental sticks at age 2, my son at 1. Just to get them used to the gear and the idea of it. At 3, they can do a lesson if they are particularly athletic or good listeners. Just don't expect much in terms of skiing until age 4.

    The key, as others have said, is making it a fun ritual. Have a go-to snack that they only get when skiing. Bring a sled, snow ball makers, carrot for a snow man, etc. Make the road trip part of the fun with a favorite fast food stop.

    Logistics are important. Plan like a field lieutenant. Pack perfectly. Have backups and contingencies for everything. Transporting their skis is a big deal. I managed to repurpose my BC touring vest to carry both of their skis in an X across the back, so they only need to carry poles. Remember, walking in boots is super tiring for them. Those boots are legitimately 10 - 20 pct of their body weight when they are young.

    They will hit plateaus based on age. When they get there, focus on new terrain and fun games. Below age 4, they will struggle to get out of the wedge. This means avoid steep, icy terrain, powder, etc no matter how good they are. Below age 7, they will struggle to separate upper and lower body movement to create angles. This means they will max out on a certain level of steepness. My 6 yr old last weekend was zipper lining bumps in his little back seat stem christie. I won't take him on anything too steep until next year, when I suspect he will be able to create bigger angles.

    Lastly, remember that they are not you. My daughter is in love with skiing, but is quite timid with speed and terrain choice. My son is a maniac, but he mostly likes it for the speed and the gear, and is just as happy playing baseball. Neither likes it for the same reasons I do, but that's fine. When they grow up, they will be competent skiers who can enjoy the mountains with friends and family, and that's all that matters.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    It will not always be about 'fun'. I know some disagree, and I've rattled endlessly about this in the kid stoke thread. Sometimes it will suck, and many times they will resist with every once of their being to going. Go anyway. They're little kids. You're the parent, Take charge. You wouldn't give in if they threw a tantrum about when to cross the street, would you? It's more about "this is what we do".

    At some point, after they're acclimated to 'this is what we do', you will find out if they actually like it. You may get lucky or not. I hope you do.

    Hire a (good, vetted, properly oriented to little kids) professional to teach them. Then leave. Don't hover. When the lesson's over go ski with them and don't coach or teach. That's where the most fun will happen. And yes, you will give up many, many pow days for a number of years. It's worth it.

    Keep them in some sort of program as long as you can, as young as you can. At some point this will get good technique in their bones, which they'll then have for the rest of their lives. Racing programs especially.

    Just don't fall into the trap of expectations and performance. Just support them doing their best, whatever that is. This will also build a community of other kids for them to ski with. That's huge. Friends are great to bring along, but if they're miles from your kids' skill level it will suck for everyone. Go ski with them at the end of the day, don't teach, don't coach. Just rip around.

    Lather, rinse, repeat as long as you can keep it going. It will be a sometimes arduous road, and in 20 years you won't regret a second of it.
    Clearly I have not read your posts in the Kid Stoke thread as I gotta ask, are you actually serious here? Cause it gave me a hearty chuckle

  7. #32
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  8. #33
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    True classic. And pretty spot-on. The getting out is the hardest part. Never had a bad end of the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  9. #34
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    My son has autism light, aspergers. It took a while for me to figure it out and to accept that yeah, provide opportunities, be the parent, but there are obvious signs when we can push it too hard.
    Parents are different, kids are different, pay attention.

    Mornings were hard, but we did at least 300 of them.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  10. #35
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    When the kids were small we spent a lot of time at smaller areas because of the low price, although it was hard to beat the $5 Squaw lift ticket for under 5 or the free rope tow.

  11. #36
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    I'm definitely in the make it fun camp, but I get what oftpiste is saying. Because I also agreed with something that EWG said earlier, don't give them a choice. Skiing is what we do as a family, it's not optional. We DID make it fun, all the time, but we had a seasonal rental, and not going to the condo to ski wasn't an option, from when my daughter was a toddler. It was part of the program she grew up with. Sleeping in and maybe only skiing a couple of hours, sure. But not going? Nope. And sometimes she didn't like that, but had to deal with it.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  12. #37
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    Mine is 10. I ski with a full pack when I'm with my kid. He does too, but his has just water, glove liners, and a few bars. Mine has cheese, crackers, salami, carrots, celery, gummy bears (or like candy), chocolate, hot chocolate (if it is cold), chocolate milk (if it is warm), super goggles in case the kid takes a header, extra layer in case he gets cold, bars, jelly beans, trail mix, and anything else we might need for the day. I used to carry a shovel, as we would spend time build a snow fort in the woods when he was younger. Now our breaks are fewer and shorter. We still tend to stop for lunch at some pint, take off our skis and build a bench out of them. We rarely end up in the lodge. Dress warm on cold days. But if we get cold, we go in, Even will buy a $14 chicken fingers if need be.

    His first run in proper gear was at age 2 1/2. We took a beginner lift up about 350 vertical feet, and skied half way down. We made a bench off to the side of the run and hung out throwing snow balls for an hour or more. Skied back to the base and called it a day. Those first few days will be short. Not long ago 3000' vert would have been a huge day. Now he regularly tops 10k and gets in a number of 20k day a season. Go at their speed and it pays off. I think he his going to out pace his mother starting this year, and I might only have a few years left.

    What ever it takes to make it fun.

  13. #38
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    I am actually serious. All I can say is it worked for us. Of course all kids are different, and those differences should absolutely be considered and accommodated, at least to some degree based on how you wish to function as a family. My kids were relatively 'normally' abled for which I am grateful.

    Edited to add: duh on hot chocolate, treats, candy, make it as fun as you can. Is that even a question?

    On thing that kept coming up in that thread, long ago, was "they don't want to go, they don't want to get up". So the whole family stays home. WTF? I don't think that's great, and of course that's just my .02 and worth every dime.

    If you want to be a ski family little kids are going to throw shit about it sometimes. If you want to let your 5 year old's tantrum run the show, then go ahead. It extends far beyond skiing, and it bums me out when I see parents doing this, but you do you.

    I was and remain a profoundly imperfect father. And my kids still love the fuck out of me, love skiing, will always be good at it no matter how long they stay away from it because it's in their DNA now, and ski better than 99.9% of the planet will ever hope to.

    All, as now adults, have expressed appreciation for how we did it then. A lot. Including the 0500 wakeups, cooler lunches, all of it. I got lucky for sure that they all ended up connecting with the sport. Not all will. And we had a REALLY fucking good time, that we all look back on with so much love.

    Whatevs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzworthy View Post
    Clearly I have not read your posts in the Kid Stoke thread as I gotta ask, are you actually serious here? Cause it gave me a hearty chuckle
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  14. #39
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    +1000 to carrying a lot of treats and always go for hot cocoa at the end of the day, bring a thermos if needed. Also, make time in your schedule for the apres snow play on the mounds in the parking lot... my kids always enjoy climbing up and sledding down on their asses there, throwing snowballs at each other etc. The first couple times I pressed them to get on the road cause I had a pseudo schedule to maintain and realized that ending on a bum note kind of gave them a bad taste for the day.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzworthy View Post
    Clearly I have not read your posts in the Kid Stoke thread as I gotta ask, are you actually serious here? Cause it gave me a hearty chuckle
    You do realize that two of oft's boys competed on the FWT. And the third could have.

    And they love the fuck out of him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  16. #41
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    Thanks pal. Only one did, other could have after junior worlds but didn't want to go through the qualifying ringer. I miss yer face. One day soon I hope. xoxoxoxo

    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    You do realize that two of oft's boys competed on the FWT. And the third could have.

    And they love the fuck out of him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy_Goggles View Post
    If I lived in WA, Oft would be my realtor. Seriously.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    Thanks pal. Only one did, other could have after junior worlds but didn't want to go through the qualifying ringer. I miss yer face. One day soon I hope. xoxoxoxo
    Hoping to be back in a week or so. Feeling a lot better.

    Miss you too sweetie!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    I am actually serious. All I can say is it worked for us. Of course all kids are different, and those differences should absolutely be considered and accommodated, at least to some degree based on how you wish to function as a family. My kids were relatively 'normally' abled for which I am grateful.

    Edited to add: duh on hot chocolate, treats, candy, make it as fun as you can. Is that even a question?

    On thing that kept coming up in that thread, long ago, was "they don't want to go, they don't want to get up". So the whole family stays home. WTF? I don't think that's great, and of course that's just my .02 and worth every dime.

    If you want to be a ski family little kids are going to throw shit about it sometimes. If you want to let your 5 year old's tantrum run the show, then go ahead. It extends far beyond skiing, and it bums me out when I see parents doing this, but you do you.

    I was and remain a profoundly imperfect father. And my kids still love the fuck out of me, love skiing, will always be good at it no matter how long they stay away from it because it's in their DNA now, and ski better than 99.9% of the planet will ever hope to.

    All, as now adults, have expressed appreciation for how we did it then. A lot. Including the 0500 wakeups, cooler lunches, all of it. I got lucky for sure that they all ended up connecting with the sport. Not all will. And we had a REALLY fucking good time, that we all look back on with so much love.

    Whatevs.
    Agreed!


    I don't think I have much to add since so many good things have already been mentioned here. We have a drawer in our kitchen full of ski area maps that I would always get out for the kids. They always enjoyed looking at them and it got them a bit more excited to go. I also recommend showing them ski and other mountain related media starting at a young age, in small tolerable doses.

  19. #44
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    I thought a lot about this question before our kids were born, and I came with a plan that I pretty much stuck to. IMO it all worked almost (but not quite exactly) as I had hoped. I basically decided they would ski as early as possible and then ski race until the ages of 12 or 13 (and hopefully longer) to become technically solid, so both were on skis before they were three. This has nothing to do with acquiring skills--what a three YO takes a whole year to learn a five or six YO can learn in a week, but I wanted to make skiing part of their everyday lives (which in our case included getting used to 3+ hour car rides, etc.). So by the time they were five or six they didn't even question that basically every week they'd have to endure a car ride to go skiing, and they accepted everything that goes along with preparing to go skiing. I basically wanted to make it completely routine, and that's what it became.

    By the time they were seven they were in the local race program, which done the right way is just a fun, freeski program that leads to occasional gates and then a bit more for U10 races, etc. I had decided they would race until the age of 12 or 13 to guarantee solid fundamentals, and then they would be 'allowed' to do whatever they wanted. I never forced them to ski/ski race, but if we were in VT and they didn't want to go out they wouldn't have a lot of other fun options (we never really ran into a problem with them staying in instead of skiing, at least not until teenage years when the younger one stopped ski racing).

    As everyone seems to say, just keep it fun and let them drive it, which hopefully they will. My older one has stuck with ski racing pretty seriously and will race in college this year, the younger one (who was the naturally faster one, actually) quit at 13. She just wasn't into it, and the fact that she was crushing it just didn't matter to her (might be a boy/girl element to this, as I can say for a fact that if I'd been beating people the way she was I'd have kept doing it even if I hated the sport--both her sister and I tried to convince her to keep up with it, and in her last season she hardly trained at all while still managing top five finishes, but even 'allowing' her to skip training didn't help things--ski racing wasn't fun for her).

    Replying to a few things:

    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    That's the exact line you will walk. You can make it more relaxed and fun for them, but that can be hard on a powder day when you want to get out there and everybody else wants to take their time at the hotel breakfast. Or you want to ski something fun for you that they may or may not be ready for.
    It can be hard, and I've experienced that, but IMO you just have to make the decision when you have kids that all your ski desires are going to be compromised for awhile (carve out some ski days just for yourself so you don't go too crazy). Of course I accidentally got them in over their heads a few times when I thought they were ready to ski something fun and then had to coax them down (yes, there were some tears and tantrums). Powder snow aggravates this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brownski View Post
    I endorse both these answers. Bottom line is that you can’t push too hard. Every kid is different. When you’re skiing with them, you need to make sure they have fun.
    Basically do whatever you can to make this happen. One of the first times my older one was skiing off a chairlift, on a bunny hill, our first run took 30-45 minutes (you could straightline it in 30-45 seconds). At least three times she made us remove our skis so we could wander around in the woods. It was a great run that I vividly remember to this day, 16 years later. As memorable to me as some big descents in AK, and arguably more worthwhile. If they're going to have fun doing it and it has to do with skiing, help make it happen. It can pay off big down the road.

    Oh yeah, one other thing, obviously the social element can be huge, so when you see them making friends skiing/ski racing it can be a good idea to make it easy for them to build those relationships.
    [quote][//quote]

  20. #45
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    Am posting from southern VT as I finish a few days driving around Quebec and VT to freeski with the older daughter. We've spent hundreds of hours (at least) driving around to ski races and training, and I have to say that if it weren't for all that 'enforced' time together I probably would have missed out on a lot conversations that otherwise wouldn't have occurred. That in itself, IMO, makes all of this more than worthwhile.

    And purely in terms of skiing, I think the results pretty much speak for themselves...this is from a few years ago, so her skiing is a little different now, but I am more than satisfied with how it all turned out.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    [quote][//quote]

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by oftpiste View Post
    It will not always be about 'fun'. I know some disagree, and I've rattled endlessly about this in the kid stoke thread. Sometimes it will suck, and many times they will resist with every once of their being to going. Go anyway. They're little kids. You're the parent, Take charge. You wouldn't give in if they threw a tantrum about when to cross the street, would you? It's more about "this is what we do".

    At some point, after they're acclimated to 'this is what we do', you will find out if they actually like it. You may get lucky or not. I hope you do.

    Hire a (good, vetted, properly oriented to little kids) professional to teach them. Then leave. Don't hover. When the lesson's over go ski with them and don't coach or teach. That's where the most fun will happen. And yes, you will give up many, many pow days for a number of years. It's worth it.

    Keep them in some sort of program as long as you can, as young as you can. At some point this will get good technique in their bones, which they'll then have for the rest of their lives. Racing programs especially.

    Just don't fall into the trap of expectations and performance. Just support them doing their best, whatever that is. This will also build a community of other kids for them to ski with. That's huge. Friends are great to bring along, but if they're miles from your kids' skill level it will suck for everyone. Go ski with them at the end of the day, don't teach, don't coach. Just rip around.

    Lather, rinse, repeat as long as you can keep it going. It will be a sometimes arduous road, and in 20 years you won't regret a second of it.
    This guy gets it, IMO. (I think nearly every post here is on the money, and yeah, you're going to make mistakes but just do your best to learn from them--your kids may benefit just as much in some ways from your mistakes as they do from whatever it is that you get exactly right.)
    [quote][//quote]

  22. #47
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    And protect our environment so they don't have to travel to the north pole just to ski when they are our ages.

    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogul5480 View Post
    Former kids instructor here (high school and college part time, then 1 yr full time), fwiw. My daughter first slid on rental sticks at age 2, my son at 1. Just to get them used to the gear and the idea of it. At 3, they can do a lesson if they are particularly athletic or good listeners. Just don't expect much in terms of skiing until age 4.

    The key, as others have said, is making it a fun ritual. Have a go-to snack that they only get when skiing. Bring a sled, snow ball makers, carrot for a snow man, etc. Make the road trip part of the fun with a favorite fast food stop.

    Logistics are important. Plan like a field lieutenant. Pack perfectly. Have backups and contingencies for everything. Transporting their skis is a big deal. I managed to repurpose my BC touring vest to carry both of their skis in an X across the back, so they only need to carry poles. Remember, walking in boots is super tiring for them. Those boots are legitimately 10 - 20 pct of their body weight when they are young.

    They will hit plateaus based on age. When they get there, focus on new terrain and fun games. Below age 4, they will struggle to get out of the wedge. This means avoid steep, icy terrain, powder, etc no matter how good they are. Below age 7, they will struggle to separate upper and lower body movement to create angles. This means they will max out on a certain level of steepness. My 6 yr old last weekend was zipper lining bumps in his little back seat stem christie. I won't take him on anything too steep until next year, when I suspect he will be able to create bigger angles.

    Lastly, remember that they are not you. My daughter is in love with skiing, but is quite timid with speed and terrain choice. My son is a maniac, but he mostly likes it for the speed and the gear, and is just as happy playing baseball. Neither likes it for the same reasons I do, but that's fine. When they grow up, they will be competent skiers who can enjoy the mountains with friends and family, and that's all that matters.
    Similar ski school experience here. My advice is to be sure to put the kids in lessons or at least with friends other than yourself for the actual lesson stuff. They will learn better from another person they see as an outsider/expert/instructor. I'm their dad and we know how to push eachother's buttons. Can you give them tips and help them improve? Usually but make skiing with you ore about fun than work. Let a current working pro handle the drills and actual teaching. The dynamic between someone other than immediate family is a much better one for this type of learning.

    And, then you get an hour or two of actual skiing!
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by SumJongGuy View Post
    Similar ski school experience here. My advice is to be sure to put the kids in lessons or at least with friends other than yourself for the actual lesson stuff. They will learn better from another person they see as an outsider/expert/instructor. I'm their dad and we know how to push eachother's buttons. Can you give them tips and help them improve? Usually but make skiing with you ore about fun than work. Let a current working pro handle the drills and actual teaching. The dynamic between someone other than immediate family is a much better one for this type of learning.

    And, then you get an hour or two of actual skiing!
    Honestly, I think it really depends, and I taught both my girls to ski. They did a few days of lessons when they were very young, but 99%+ of their ski days were with me when they were learning. I should qualify this by noting that I have experience in helping people learn to ski, and the vast majority of the time we skied when they were young there was very little explicit instruction. Maybe once a day I'd watch them ski and say a few things, and there might be occasional reminders, but I know that my older one says she pretty much learned by skiing behind me and trying to imitate (I was surprised when she said she had consciously done this, but I guess she did).

    I guess if you're not getting that many days in and you don't feel comfortable with it then you should go with lessons, but if they're getting a lot of ski days in and you do it the right way IMO there's no reason you can't teach them on your own.

    Teaching my wife to ski is a different story...I gave up on that at a certain point and only said things if she really asked for it.
    [quote][//quote]

  25. #50
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    And don’t stress out if your kids can’t ski at age three. I see lots of posts about guys getting their kids going really early but it’s a pretty rare kid that can do anything meaningful at that age. I started my older son at three and it didn’t really click so I pretty much just skied with him between my legs for the most part. My younger son started at five because his older brother was still a handful up until that point. A lot of kids can’t put it together on their own until they’re older. There’s nothing wrong with that either.

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