Tips for New Parents

  • Families with multiple kids, take a notebook to the store and jot notes on boot, ski, and pole sizes needed for all children.
  • Visit ski swaps to look for your specific needs before shopping at stores for retail prices. The kids grow so fast and you might find that they grow out of their equipment during the season. To avoid this problem, purchase boots with a bit more room and double the socks. It may be used in Fairbanks when our cold temps hit.
  • Make sure if your child has never skied before to try on all the equipment inside on your living room carpet. Allow them the space to move around and find their balance a few times. Carve out some time at the ski area for them to safely put on their skis and begin to slide around even if they’ve never tried it before. That will help give them the necessary confidence it will take to successfully navigate the first lessons.
  • Junior Nordic skier - image by Rebecca HeatonA sense of humor on the days when it is really cold goes a long way in creating the steadfast attitude that all things are possible with the right attitude. Whatever the conditions, we’ll make the best of it.
  • Always carry extra mittens, handy heats and a neck warmer on days when it is cold. You can reuse them multiple times if you seal them in a jar before they lose their heat.
  • Your car should be stocked with an extra bag containing socks, hats, mittens etc. You will need them at some point for your children or others who may be skiing with you.
  • Label everything! Lesson days get crowded with excited kids who may not be paying attention when they pick up their belongings. Take a moment to be sure they have theirs.
  • A warm snack before Junior Nordics lessons along with water in the car afterwards (they really do work up a sweat!!) goes a long way in making your experience a good one. It also is setting the stage for the care of their bodies for any future endeavors.
  • Enter the Town Series races!!!! They are family oriented and give your child a chance to strut their stuff no matter what level they are at.
  • Show up and ski–even if it is just once. Nothing reinforces the fun more than seeing mom or dad out there with them. Plus, it is good for mom or dad to get some fresh air. It might just turn into a wonderfully healthy habit!
  • Take a day and ski with you kids when they are not at Junior Nordics. Pick a lovely Saturday and ask your kids to take you for a ski at the UAF or Birch Hill trails. Believe it or not, that little bit of interest you show goes a long way and makes for a great family outing.
  • Remember that hour once, twice, or three times a week is also your hour as a parent. Enjoy the time.
  • Sometimes the bundling and getting out the door process takes longer than the actual skiing time. Try to be OK with this! Eventually the time spent skiing exceeds the preparation time.
  • There will be many weeks when you never make it out of the stadium or the terrain garden. It’ll come. Embrace it. Before you know it, you won’t able to keep up with your kids!
  • Listen to your child. There’s a difference between needing a bit of encouragement and gently prodding your child when they’re not excited about skiing. Don’t ever force your child to participate.
  • Building relationships is an important element. It is extremely important in the life of the child. Know your child. If you have an introvert and your personality is an extrovert, be sensitive to that. Give them the adequate space to form their own bonds. Stay after the session and speak with some of the other parents so that it creates a space for the child to develop relationships with the other kids.
  • A lot of work goes into parenting in general but specifically, creating the desire for healthy exercise is part of our job. Being intentional with the activities to promote a healthy lifestyle is one way to do it. Children aim to please their parents. If parents make it a habit to exercise daily, kids learn by imitation and it becomes a part of their daily lives. Whether kids decide to ski as part of a competitive club or not, shouldn’t matter. The ultimate goal is to have children moving and enjoying the sport of cross-country skiing.