Tag Archives: parents

Should I Let my Daughter Quit Figure Skating?

Q. My 8 year old daughter has been skating for a year and a half. She just recently moved up to the Gamma level and has expressed a desire to quit skating. She has a history of quitting things when a greater effort is required (e.g. dance class, horseback riding), and I do not want this to be just a continuation of a pattern. She has competed successfully and likes competitions, but said she doesn’t like the work required. Do I insist she work through this or just let her off the hook? I think she can do this, but is just getting lazy! Thanks for your input.

A.   As a pro I see this very frequently. Here are some of the things that I suggest. If you are not taking private lessons, I suggest that you try a few. Private lessons can provide the instructor with the option of introducing new skills that may be more fun than practicing three-turns! Skating must be fun and sometimes that means throwing in a few advanced skills even if the student is not quite ready for them.

If you are taking privately, speak with your instructor about how both of you can add some fun to the learning process. Games like skating with beanie babies on the head teach proper body alignment and posture while the student gets a fun challenge. A second part of “fun” is the social aspect.

If your child does not have any friends at about the same level who skate, it’s highly unlikely they will continue. Having a friend to practice and play with is an important factor. Inquire about a club. Many rinks have figureskating clubs and junior clubs which could help you find some friends. They also give exposure to higher level skaters which might motivate your child to work harder to improve.

Finally, if at all possible try to allow your child to request to go skating instead of prodding them to go. Why? Typical of many kids, anything you want them to do, they won’t be interested in. Good luck and let me know how it all turns out.


Filed under Figure Skating Parents, Learn to Skate

How old should my child be to start ice skating?

by Michelle Wilkin

Age four is best to start. There are some children who are ready at 3 years old. Consider the following criteria:

Attention Span – most group classes will last 30 minutes.

Separation from parent – Separation anxiety is still developmentally appropriate until approximately age four. If your child can be comfortable accepting instructions from another adult, then you should be fine.

Balance – both in skates and in regular shoes.

My recommendation is to start with your child walking in skates on the floor only. If this goes well, then your child is physically ready. Check with your local ice rink for age requirements. Many rinks will not accept children for group classes who are under 4 years of age. If your child is eager and can meet the basic criteria before he is 4 years old, you may consider private lessons.

They are more flexible with the length of lesson and can adapt to the age of the child. To ensure quality instruction, make sure to ask for a Professional Skater’s Association (PSA) rated instructor.

For more articles for skating parents, visit http://www.iceskatingworld.com/parents/letters_articles/index.html

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Filed under Figure Skating Education, Figure Skating Parents, Learn to Skate