I was going to write about my struggle to with learning to ski properly in my forties but dealing with the Tiger Parents on the slopes turned out to be a bigger challenge.
When you are at school you know they are around and by now, two children in, I know not to engage with the Tiger Parents and to surround myself with similar minded ‘normal’ parents.
When you are on holiday you can be blindsided as they pop up where you least expect them.
I believe that holidays are also for us parents to relax and for some sort of ‘family’ time.
Not for the Tiger parents, we boarded our flight and after the stress of getting everyone out on time, remembering all the ski paraphernalia, my husband and our friends were looking forward to dishing out the ipads and to relaxing with the newspapers…
Then it starts behind us, the Tiger Parent commences her extra ‘holiday’ homework session, all I can hear is a middle aged woman trying to get her four year old to discuss the merits of The Three Little Pigs, what I should have done was to cast her and her brood, a pitying look and continue to immerse myself in Grazia.
I could not help a wave of doubt rising, about whether I am a bad parent for palming my children off on Minecraft. I am lucky to have a balanced partner and great friends who when these doubts emerge remind me that they are children and that they work so hard in term time that a bit of screen time is fine and more importantly, remind me that we parents also deserve some down time!
I had dealt with this encounter, we were all happy, kids at ski school, me facing my fears of the mountains and making very little progress but still having a great time.
I had ignored the fact the Tiger Parents insist on ordering egg white omelets in the morning, causing the rest of us to forego eggs as the Italian chef didn’t like the look of this request and didn’t prepare it to their strict instructions.
We are mid way through the week and this very young child appears in our kids ski class, I ask the lovely instructor if he is new and the look of fear crosses his eyes, he informs me he has been press ganged into accepting this child by the aforementioned Tiger Parents.
Clearly this poor child is out of his depth but the Tiger Parents don’t care, they want him to power through the ranks and be Olympic standard by his teen years.
Over drinks that evening we discuss who is right?? Will we all regret not pushing our kids more ..
The consensus is that skiing is supposed to be fun and that at four years of age, it really doesn’t matter.
In reality, struggling in a group which is older and more experienced will do nothing for the child’s confidence long term.
I don’t normally bring kids into my blog but I felt so strongly that we ‘normal’ parents have to stick together, I love my kids and I am as ambitious as the next parent for them to fulfil their potential but not at any price and not at the expense of good honest fun.
It is hard though, when you are super competitive by nature not to extend this to your family and children, but we must not.
On the last day my daughter had a sore throat so I let her relax in the morning so she could join her class for the afternoon.
As I dropped her off, I see the Tiger Parents little one, sobbing quietly in the corner and I ask if he is ok, he obviously isn’t, there he is crying quietly, whispering for his Mum. The poor thing, this is the reality, if you push your offspring beyond their capabilities and don’t consider that building friendships is part of the journey of learning to ski.
Not that the Tiger Parents ever knew, I can hear them later bragging at how their offspring have skipped a class and are progressing at break neck speed through the ranks.
I would love to hear your experiences of the Tiger Parents and your coping tips!
I cannot recommend enough the ski hotel we stayed at called Cavallino Bianco in Italy, check out my older post for a full review.