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Objective risk - encouraging the young

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Concerning Alex, age 11, small, highly competent, well briefed on safety, the Rules, and self-regulation. My partner Jane, competent, experienced.

Jane: where’s Alex?
Me: he’s gone off with Chris (Alpine Guide, instructor and Moto GP rider)
Jane: What !!?!
Me: it’s fine.
Jane: NO it’s not, Chris’ll go and do heavy duty things.
Me: er … probably
Jane: where have they gone?
Me: through the forest to do the Coup Du Monde female downhill course…
Jane: WHAT!!!!!!!+++*****
Me: it’ll be fine….

30mins later

Me: Hi Alex, how was it?
Alex: fine.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 14-03-17 20:03; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Laughing Laughing

How old is Alex?

I tend to take the view that if I survived something at their age they they are probably better equipped to do so. Maybe not motorbikes though..that was more luck than judgement.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Thornyhill, ...sorry, just to be clear, this was skiing in CH....
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@valais2, Yeah - I got that. I get the same grief from OH about everything else.

You let them do WHAT??
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thornyhill wrote:
@valais2, Yeah - I got that. I get the same grief from OH about everything else.

You let them do WHAT??


I'm 31 and still get it from my mum Very Happy Went for a walk around a local forest on her birthday and I was scoping out a few MTB jumps but was promptly told "you can't do that" Wink

Don't think there was much as a kid that we were necessarily encouraged to do but I think it was always a case of letting us find out for ourselves if something was stupid. Climbing trees, riding bikes too fast, that kind of thing. I guess the most daring thing I got to do was drive a car up and down a deserted airfield at 70+ mph while the old man was in the back, think I was 12 at the time. Obviously I'm now an excellent driver so it all paid off.

The only thing that really had a stop put on was when I got a bit older and started talking about getting a motorbike. I believe the exact sentence was "you'll have to get a house first because you won't be living here". They were right, I'd have killed myself within a month.
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Without coming across as one of those "back in my day" types (will now proceed to do exactly that)...

Anyway, when I was 11 we'd go on family skiing trips with my twin brother, my older brother and our parents. Mum didn't ski, but dad was a good skier. The drill was simple enough: ESF lessons in the morning, then dad would take us skiing in the afternoon. One or two afternoons a week, dad wanted to take our older brother off on his own, so my twin brother and I would ski on our own. This before the days of mobile phones and all. Sure we'd tell the parents what we planned on doing, and being boringly sensible would stick to that plan (as much as possible, I remember one of the runs being closed once and having to find an alternate route).

As I said, we were generally sensible, and to a degree used to getting by on our own: by the age of 9-10 we were taking the metro across Paris every day to go to school and back, but I do think my parents by and large got the whole "let them go" thing spot on.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Too much nanny state and too many hover mums in this world.

Kids should be encouraged to take risks at an early age and educated to take risks VERY CAREFULLY and not rely on the helmet.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mad for chelsea wrote:
Without coming across as one of those "back in my day" types (will now proceed to do exactly that)...


Very Happy The irony of the 'back in my day' thing is that it's often parents of children now that say it. A while back a friend on Facebook posted something about kids these days having iPhones and PS4s and big TVs while he used to play in the streets with his mates...but he completely overlooked the fact that his kids had access to all that stuff and certainly didn't buy it themselves Laughing

I agree though, plenty of kids are sensible enough to look after themselves past a certain age. At work I can generally tell the difference between the apprentices that have held on to the apron strings a bit too long and those that were allowed to be risk-taking renegades Wink
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My ex wife doesn't like the idea of me taking our 9 yr old skiing but is happy for her to ride her pony.
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mad for chelsea wrote:
Without coming across as one of those "back in my day" types (will now proceed to do exactly that)...



Laughing Laughing

I think I am very logical about that. It would be hypocritical of me to stop them from doing anything I did....(going to the pub at 16....Embarassed)

I try to make sure they are geared up for 21st century life, so phone charged and attack alarm fixed to belt. Other than that they can do what they want...as long as they think about it first.

Hold my beer. What could go wrong? Toofy Grin Toofy Grin
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I'm getting that now from multiple sources. . . "you're doing WHAT! . . AT YOUR AGE!!!"

Think I'll ask dadmin to toss my ashes at a VT eosb and have a party.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Yes let them- particularly the girls. I have spent days if not weeks coached big young people (mainly) women to understand how calculated risks can benefit them. I would say this lot 20-24 are the most risk adverse ever.
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tangowaggon wrote:
My ex wife doesn't like the idea of me taking our 9 yr old skiing but is happy for her to ride her pony.

The double standards of an ex eh?!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I am a great believer in the Scouts (or Guides). My son has been going for 7 years now and is a very confident young man who understands calculated risk and how to enjoy himself while minimising the risk to him and others. He has been doing walking competitions with the scouts since he was 12, which have involved him being in a team of four having to navigate 40 miles over two days, while having to perform several group tasks on the way. The first time he did it there was snow and very cold temperatures, it wasn't called off because all the teams were prepared for these conditions and there was great support along the way in case of problems. He had a great time and it certainly increased his confidence, team skills and self reliance.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pieman666 wrote:
I am a great believer in the Scouts (or Guides). My son has been going for 7 years now and is a very confident young man who understands calculated risk and how to enjoy himself while minimising the risk to him and others. He has been doing walking competitions with the scouts since he was 12, which have involved him being in a team of four having to navigate 40 miles over two days, while having to perform several group tasks on the way. The first time he did it there was snow and very cold temperatures, it wasn't called off because all the teams were prepared for these conditions and there was great support along the way in case of problems. He had a great time and it certainly increased his confidence, team skills and self reliance.

Whilst my lads play football, which teaches them how to moan at the referee and behave like the premier league players do, eg badly.
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Poster: A snowHead
:/ @JamLala
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tangowaggon wrote:
My ex wife doesn't like the idea of me taking our 9 yr old skiing but is happy for her to ride her pony.

Have you looked at the actual statistics of injury between the 2 activitives are ? I don't know them, but I don't imagine horse/pony riding is safer (but I could be wrong).
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
pieman666 wrote:
I am a great believer in the Scouts (or Guides). My son has been going for 7 years now and is a very confident young man who understands calculated risk and how to enjoy himself while minimising the risk to him and others. He has been doing walking competitions with the scouts since he was 12, which have involved him being in a team of four having to navigate 40 miles over two days, while having to perform several group tasks on the way. The first time he did it there was snow and very cold temperatures, it wasn't called off because all the teams were prepared for these conditions and there was great support along the way in case of problems. He had a great time and it certainly increased his confidence, team skills and self reliance.


Me too, I was a guide, my husband a scout, then all 3 of our boys went through scouting. Our sons did so many things, canoeing, caving, rock climbing, shooting, archery to name but a few, and travelled to many different places for jamborees in the UK and overseas. These experiences played no small part in making them the confident, successful, young men they are today! (Sorry don`t mean to boast just to plug the Scouts/Guides!)

Everything we all do in life has a risk/benefit calculation. Where each of us draws the line either for ourselves or our children is a very personal matter, but I believe that in the attempt to protect our children there is a real risk of not allowing them to grow and to reach their full potential. But then ..... would I say that if one of the many activities mine participated in had lead to serious injury? Being a parent is rarely easy! Smile
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We have a problem with our 12 year old in that he is brain-loose and totally fearless. He spots somewhere he wants to go and goes. We pin him in between us in "duck in a line" fashion on the slopes, but all of a sudden, he'll just ski on the "moguls" at the side of pistes. He usually ends up up to his knees/waist in snow, but laughing. In short, he's a pain in the neck. We don't know if he just back bottoms around with us and would be better in ski school. He went into school the first time we skied (been 5 times now) and they asked us to take him out because he ignored them and was heading towards orange netting and quite a steep drop when they were screaming at him to stop. Luckily he had the presence of mind to chuck himself on his side and stop but it was apparently way too close for comfort. That was however a few years ago and he has matured a bit. I think he's bored with the whole being pinned in and just going up and down a slope. He wants more adventure - but my nerves can't stand it!!!

Sorry, off topic.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@bambionskiis, he should team up with my 13 year old daughter. She insists on skiing far too close to the person in front (even on icy/steep pistes) and won't be told...insisting that she's in control and "alright". She even got told by her instructor to back off...but she doesn't. Really peeing off the rest of the family, especially her sister who is a far more considerate skier. Don't know whether it's a lack of technique or what. But back in ski school for her next year.
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@bambionskiis, Sounds perfectly normal to me. At one point with our kids we thought ski school would be a good idea but it wasn`t and we never chanced it again! Our 3 survived and thrived from being allowed to learn from their mistakes, and they even survived our many mistakes!

Children seem to be a dam sight more resilient than parents nerves Laughing
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@bambionskiis, no...don't be concerned, I don't think this is off topic. When Alex was 3 years old, he was an excellent skier and had terrible behaviour. He would just turn to the fall line and GO. Me '...skiing is all about turning, Alex, follow me...' and what would he do? Turn into the fall line, giggle, and then off, straight down. I would catch up, pick him up as he hurtled, do a hockey stop and plonk him down, only to have the same thing run over and over. For him, the change came through two COGNITIVE inputs.

1
I found and watched with him a YouTube video of a father and son skiing steeps in Chamonix...here it is:

http://youtube.com/v/m_iW9klC_OU
But the key thing is this - I told him, as he sat on my lap, that the FATHER was following the SON, on something where if the Father fell, he would die. This interested him immediately. I said, look at them, they are turning and turning, and the father TRUSTS the son, because he is turning and turning on steep mountain. I asked him 'do you want to lead me on the mountain? Can I trust you to turn on steep things'. He was really engaged by this. Yes he said. Can I trust you to lead me safely? Yes he said. From that day, he turned and turned and turned. Now, at 11, he is phenomenal in the gates. People just stop and stare at his edgehold. He is incredibly responsible on the hill. It many not work for all kids, but this one moment was decisive for him. From a downhill screamer to an adult approach to everything on the mountain.

2
Secondly, Alex has had private tuition with top UIAGM guides and instructors. He looks up to them because he knows how respected they are on the hill, and by having private times with them, has a 1:1 relationship with them - he knows that he would be letting them down not to do what they say when he is on his own on the hill, or when skiing with us. I would say that this is COGNITIVE and EMOTIONAL training. This may work better with your son. Worth trying, since he sounds like an accident waiting to happen, which would be terrible for all. Good luck, hope this helps....


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 15-03-17 16:46; edited 1 time in total
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Thank you so much for putting my mind at rest. I must admit that I had got to the point last holiday of not wanting to go again, which would be a great shame. My skiing has actually gone backwards and I have lost what little confidence I have and I think it is down to stressing about him as he affects the dynamic of the whole family. Interestingly, I looked at my heartrate record on my fitbit for the week we were away. It's normally about 59bpm but for the whole week, it was consistently 76bpm!!! Hope you find a solution dobby (they do sound a ski match made in heaven!). Caravanskiier, I know you are right, I have to let go more and give him more space to learn. Cracking video Valais and really interesting advice too. I will definitely show him the video. I thought it was lovely the way the son recognises and acknowledges that "it can't be easy" for his dad. What a lovely relationship they seem to have. I think we'll book him in for private lessons next time. It would be interesting to see how he is with somebody else. Thanks.
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As someone who works with adults with anxiety problems every day, I fully advocate the @valais2 approach. I can't think of many better ways to build resilience and confidence. I pretty much spend all day trying to undo years of escalating risk avoidance and the self-doubt that it creates.
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king key wrote:
tangowaggon wrote:
My ex wife doesn't like the idea of me taking our 9 yr old skiing but is happy for her to ride her pony.

Have you looked at the actual statistics of injury between the 2 activitives are ? I don't know them, but I don't imagine horse/pony riding is safer (but I could be wrong).

Riding is ridiculously dangerous compared with skiing, which is actually a very safe sport.
Not that I think that should preclude children from riding.
My daughter did both but was non seriously hospitalised riding.
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@element, Isn`t it just so very important to give children confidence in themselves and their ability to deal with life? Small challenges from a young age that they can cope with, succeed at, and enjoy! Then bigger challenges that they can also succeed as as they get older and enjoy in the process. I firmly believe that goes a long way to helping a child grow into a happy adult. Skiing can be very good at presenting those challenges! Self confidence and self belief is perhaps the best gift any parent can give a child. Full marks to you for working with those individuals who struggle as adults.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
From the BMJ:

Quote:
The rate of serious injuries in horseback riding has been reported to be one per 350 to one per 1000 hours of riding.2 The BC study revealed the admission rate to be 0.49/1000 hours riding. Compare this with the injury rate for motorcycle riding, 0.14/1000 hours of riding.2 The injury rate requiring emergency services for skiing is 2.91/1000 days, or assuming five hours/day skiing, 0.6/1000 hours.7 Since admission to hospital would indicate more serious injury than a visit to the emergency department, we conclude that horse riding is more dangerous than either skiing or motorcycling.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I do find that I spend an a lot of time thinking about the risks my son takes, as I'd like him to make it through to adulthood both alive and fully fit.
He doesn't worry me at all when he's skiing, as he is capable of skiing anywhere on the mountain. I do however have reservations when he goes in the park, as he loves to jump. I am thinking about getting him some freestyle lessons, but I'm not sure it's something I want to encourage, as by getting better it will only mean he'll go bigger, which increases the chances of serious injury. Having watched Crash Reel and some recent competitions on tv, the size of the jumps that they now do does seem to be very extreme. I'm sure that parents of children who do competitive show jumping have the same worries and question if they should encourage something which is fairly dangerous.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@doddsie, kids bounce Wink I watched Supervention 2 the other week and the lads in that are just resilient to it all.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Unfortunately Kevin Pearce didn't.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
musher wrote:
From the BMJ:

Quote:
The rate of serious injuries in horseback riding has been reported to be one per 350 to one per 1000 hours of riding.2 The BC study revealed the admission rate to be 0.49/1000 hours riding. Compare this with the injury rate for motorcycle riding, 0.14/1000 hours of riding.2 The injury rate requiring emergency services for skiing is 2.91/1000 days, or assuming five hours/day skiing, 0.6/1000 hours.7 Since admission to hospital would indicate more serious injury than a visit to the emergency department, we conclude that horse riding is more dangerous than either skiing or motorcycling.
Maybe Valais2 would like to pass that on to Alex's mum. I'd like to hear what she then says. Laughing


Thornyhill wrote:

How old is Alex?
39.


wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@king key, ...it is indeed the stats which matter.

He is indeed 11 (in chronological age) coming on 39 (in maturity)

He recently floored a colleague on introduced ... alex: 'Nice to meet you ... and do you enjoy your work?'...
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Definitely let the young take risks, but there are limits:

A few years ago my OH and daughter (then maybe 6) are riding the cable car when my OH spots Fred Syversen looking quizzically at her as she has some Whitedot development skis with her.
They get talking and she explains that she's my wife and the skis were just knocking about so she thought she might as well use them up (she's still using them no, 4 years on).
Anyway my daughter (not being backward) gives Fred the full lowdown on how she likes skiing, but ski school not so much.
Fred says that's no problem, forget ski school, I'll take you out skiing later this week.

Of course the wife's thoughts immediately go not to the many achievements of Mr Syversen as a member of the Norwegian downhill squad, nor his status as a Godfather in freeride, but rather to the fact his greatest claim to fame is getting a little lost on a filmed descent and so coming away with the world record for a cliff huck (plus a ruptured spleen and compressed spine).

When they came in from skiing that afternoon I was given (very) explicit instructions that if and when Fred mentioned taking her out to me, I was to make our excuses!

Actually I think my daughter is so sensible that Fred having her around would be a steadying influence on him.
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@midgetbiker, excellent post very in tune with the spirit of the thread....
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
How much we let our children do is a tricky one. I think that if you give them a certain amount of freedom to do risky stuff from the start, and make them aware of where the risks are, then as they get older they are then able to judge the risks themselves, and are much less likely to go and do something stupidly dangerous. With our kids if they felt happy going and doing something, we took the view that it was probably ok to let them do it!
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My children are 6 & 3; the question I regularly ask them, when I see them climbing on something or doing something that I perceive to be overly risky, is "do you feel safe". 8/10 they say yes, so I let them get on with it and be ready intervene or catch if necessary. I've also come to trust my children's judgement much more... well the 6yr old anyway.
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@RichClark, Children can be better at judging risks than teenagers in some respects as at adolescence the brain seems to "rewire". Especially in teenage boys, who seem to become pre-programmed to take risks! rolling eyes
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@RichClark, .... A nice approach you have there I think.

I get a wee bit frustrated as to what some people say when they see photos or hear tales of what we have done on the hill - I constantly hear '...ah...aren't young children fearless....'. This actually is quite wrong. We have made our kids entirely aware of danger, but not scared of it. It is definitely not the case that they are oblivious to risk and danger, but they are taught how to control their anxiety and perform within their envelope. Fearless would be oblivious. I would say they are fearful (aware) but not frightened (scared).
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doddsie wrote:
I'm sure that parents of children who do competitive show jumping have the same worries and question if they should encourage something which is fairly dangerous.


Showjumping is safe compared to Eventing and particularly National Hunt racing - that's where the really anxious parents can be found!
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It's not so much fearlessness, as them not necessarily having all the data or experience necessary to make an informed decision. Both of us are pretty laid back with our children (I would be the one taking the photo of one of mine standing on top the climbing frame whilst other parents would be trying to rescue them, potentially making things actually dangerous!) but they're not always equipped to know best.

For instance, my eight year old decided she wanted to ski a long black run full of moguls she'd seen from the ski lift. Her big sister (10) can do it, but she has no mogul experience and just assumed from looking at it that it would be easy. I suspected no harm would come to her as it's not like it was an icy, smooth near vertical black with sheer drops, and duly dispatched husband, ten year old and aforementioned eight year old down the slope.

At the bottom, half a dozen yard sales later, she admitted that actually it was a lot harder than it looked (although she was still thrilled she did it!!). My point being that whilst obviously she was in no real danger (or I would not have let her do it) she thought it would be easy. Who is to say that next time she makes a decision like that over something, for whatever reason no adult is around to stop her, and it actually is dangerous*?

That said, I never want her to lose her need to challenge herself like that Happy She will go a long way!

*I can still remember climbing treacherous cliffs as a child when my parents' back was turned, and my dad then encouraging me and my mum having a heart attack!! I totally felt in my limits.. but if I'd screwed up I wouldn't be posting here.
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