What do you do when you feel like your child is being excluded from a family ski trip get together because he is not skilled at skiing?
My son is 17. His dad died from cancer when he was 13 after a VERY long battle. His 3 uncles (my side) and his cousin have been going on a ski trip for several years together. My son does not know how to ski. He has wondered why he was never invited. He was invited this year, but his uncle said he should go on several ski trips (no skiing available in this area) before the big one. My son is a junior in high school taking full college classes with a 4.0. He is manager of high school hockey team, involved with his church, volunteers with food bank, on national honor society. Very busy and only has one weekend open to take a practice run at skiing which he will do. My brother (his uncle keeps calling and says why isn't he practicing - doesn't 'hear' how busy my son is. He said I just want him to know we are accomplished skiers and we don't want him to feel funny. Now the brother says another person is invited that isn't a member of the family. I feel deeply that my son is not wanted because he doesn't know how to ski and have asked my son if he really wants to go. My son responds that he does want to go and has been waiting to be asked for a long time. His cousin is 1 year older than my son, but has had his dad to teach him and has been included on this trip for many years. I am getting the picture that my son will be the fifth wheel and my brother says I am being too sensitive, yet he has called 5 times asking if my son knows what he is in for.
This is a difficult situation. Your son wants to be with his adult male relatives and male cousins. It's a great time for male bonding and to have an older male role model. Unfortunately, his uncles only choose skiing in which to bond.
It would be great if the uncles could schedule other type activities and invite your son- like a camping trip, or other activity that doesn't require training in advance. But, you can't change them, only make suggestions.
Your son has his priorities in order, and is working hard to achieve his goals- you should be proud of him. He also wants time with his uncles and cousins. So- there are a couple of options:
-Create the time for him to practice and take some skiing lessons before the trip
-Encourage him to go, but not ski with his uncles and cousins. While they are skiing (and probably on the tougher slopes) have your son take lessons. They could meet up at lunch, or at the end of the day, share stories, and bond in the evening time. There is so much to do at ski resorts other than ski. You don't want to put him in a dangerous situation, if the uncles and cousins are skiing on much higher, difficult slopes.
-Invlte the uncles and cousins for a visit to your house, and let your son bond with them on his own turf.
Good luck. Your child desires male role models in his life. This ski trip isn't the only opportunity for this. Encourage your son in his current activities- he seems to be well grounded and have good goals, and a positive future in front of him.
Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC NCC
Blended family and single parent expert
Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
It's just a ski trip, not the end of the world. Your son seems well-rounded with a fulfilling life.
Although, he may want to go on this trip, if he is not skilled at skiing (I realize no fault of his own) then he probably shouldn't go. The same as if one child don't swim, but all is going swimming or going to drive race cars and you don't know how to drive or parachute out of a plane, when you've had no training. Just not safe.
I think your brothers are not intentionally leaving your son out, they are just concerned about his safety and they don't want him sitting in the room or on the side lines watching them have fun when he is unable to participate. Understandable.
It's great that your son has that sense of adventure, but I think they should find another activity at a later time that he can participate in and has a genuine interest and talent for. Maybe you and your son can think of an activity or trip that everybody will enjoy and invite your brothers, cousins, etc. to attend.
Your son seems to have such a well rounded life that I don't think it will effect him negatively that they go without him. I think it's wonderful that you are so involved with your son and obviously care so much! You are lucky to have each other and brothers that are so loving, it seems that your brother to keep calling feels guilty about leaving him behind, don't make him feel guilty about it, just plan for something else later.