DEAR HARRIETTE: My 8-year-old son was invited to go skiing with some of his friends from school during winter break. This sounds like a lot of fun -- and scary. My son has never skied before. I’m nervous that his friends, who have been skiing since they were 5, will abandon him.
I want to give my son this opportunity. I have a friendly relationship with his friend’s parents. I can reach out to them to learn more about the trip, but I don’t know how much these adults can protect him physically or emotionally. How should I handle it? -- Novice Skier
DEAR NOVICE SKIER: You definitely should contact the boy’s parents to learn more about the trip and to describe your son’s abilities. Let them know that you want your son to be able to join the fun, but you have some reservations about whether he will fit in as the one boy who hasn’t skied before. Ask for their insights.
Your son will have to take lessons on the bunny slopes first in order to learn the basics of skiing. He should not be allowed to go on slopes that would be too hard or dangerous for him to manage. There will surely be other people on the bunny slopes. It would be great if the others go with him in the beginning. Find out from the parents if they believe the others will look out for your son. If they think he will be OK, let him try it out. There may be some awkward moments, but chances are, the fun will outweigh the discomfort.