What To Do When Your Child Has a Tantrum on the Ski Hill

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You’ve pulled the kid from school early, loaded up all of the gear (4 snowboards, 8 boots, 4 helmets, 4 goggles, 8 socks, 4 neckwarmers, 4 pants, 4 jackets, 8 underlayers, 8 gloves). You’ve got healthy snacks and hydration loaded for the ride to and from the mountain. Lift tickets were purchased for a great deal and the weather is cooperating—it’s not too hot or too cold. You’ve unpacked the car, geared up, attended to one more “I have to pee” request and then you’re finally ready for the blue-bird afternoon ski day! And then it happens…

A complete meltdown: What to do when your child throws a tantrum on the ski hill


Whether it’s a bit of snow in the glove, a brother that isn’t going fast enough, a sister who’s too speedy, a twisted goggle strap or not being able to sit next to the right person on the two seater chairlift… a complete meltdown has started and you’re about to lose your marbles.


Questions like this start swirling in your head:

Do you know what we went through to get here?

Do you know how lucky you are that you even get to go snowboarding?

Do you know how much I paid for those (snowboards, goggles, lift tickets, gas etc.)

You do realize I had to take time off work to spend some quality time with you.

The Parent Tantrum: What to do when your child throws a tantrum on the ski hill


Before you release the #OhMyGoshAreYouKiddingMe adult tantrum, change your perspective and see this as an investment opportunity.

Before I proceed I’m going to warn you, this is one of the most challenging things to do in the heat of the moment. But stick with me here.

When children are in this frantic state, no matter what their issue is, they are turning to you. If you have the well warranted #IWIshYouWereMoreGrateful lash out, you’ll both end up more distraught with nothing really solved. If you see this as an investment opportunity, your perspective will change and you’ll build on your relationship rather than hurt it.

Your child is turning to you and this is your chance to help. What can you say?

  1. I hear what your challenge is
  2. Here’s how I can help you solve your problem
  3. Here’s the consequences of each choice
  4. How do you want to proceed?

For example, your one child is going too slow on the slopes which has caused the faster child to race ahead and jump on the chairlift with a friend. Now your group is separated and you’ve got one child who’s complaining that the group rides too fast, and another child who’s potentially lost.

The parenting tantrum may result in the “hurry up” or “try harder” approach.

The “Investment” Approach 


The investment approach results in a conversation. A conversation about setting realistic expectations for speed, staying together as a group, the ramifications for not being safe on the hill, and the support that needs to happen for slower riders.

You want to clearly identify the challenge that the child is facing—whether that be their gear, equipment or their own capacities (or lack thereof)—that is resulting in their slump in self-confidence. Then you work together to create a solution.

The Real Challenge & Opportunity 


Okay now, I challenge you to go back and read “The Investment Approach” again except, this time, apply it to a different situation your child is having. Maybe it’s trouble at school, bad influences online or a really bad sporting outcome.

The opportunity is this: when we are recreating together we are learning how to navigate life as a team. When things go sideways on the ski hill and we invest in those challenges with our children, they build an understanding of how we will react when things don’t go as planned. We are teaching them how to respond and how, while an adult tantrum may feel pretty damn good to teach them a lesson, it won’t help them build a life.

Now that you know what to do when your child throws a tantrum on the ski hill, check out some of our snowboarding adventures below!

Is this a sponsored post?: No, I just wanted to share what to do when your child has a tantrum on the ski hill with my followers!

About The Author
Jami Savage
Jami Savage
Jami Savage is one of the top Family Travel Writers in Canada, and has been featured on CTV and Vancouver Sun, and more. Go here to read our families story about how we went from backyard adventurers to world travelers, and how you can do the same. If you want to send Jami a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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Jami Savage

Full Time Travel Writer, Mom who is passionate about empowering and educating travelers on how you can use your own tourism dollars as a catalyst for positive change worldwide. Click here to learn more about us, our family, and how we lead an adventure filled life!

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