Those of you who follow The Dad Network closely, will know that I’m also a step dad to 11 year old, Louis.
Being a step dad is a lot of fun but not without its own set of unique challenges that dads don’t have. I don’t have a great desire on dwelling on these different challenges but I do want to share one of the most important principles of being a step dad.
Cultivate a hobby that is unique to you and your step child.
It’s this activity or hobby that you can use to base and grow your relationship on.
For me and Louis, amongst a few other smaller things, it’s skiing. It took nearly 2 years to identify and find, but now we have its our thing.
We are now about to go on our 3rd skiing holiday, just the 2 of us. We’ll be hitting the slopes together in December courtesy of Ski Weekender and we both can’t wait.
In preparation for our snowy adventure, we went along to The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead. One of the only places in the UK that you can ski indoors on real snow.
When practising in the UK, we’ve only ever been on dry slopes before and if honest, my expectations were pretty low for indoor snow! Would it be like I was in the Alps? I had my doubts but no sooner had my skis touched the snow, those doubts disappeared wholly.
It was genuinely like I was skiing on a mountain, minus the views. We had a top up lesson to get us back into the swing of things and it was just like riding a bike; we hadn’t forgotten how to do it despite a 9 month ago since or last ski.
Skiing is a great activity to do with our kids. It builds trust, encouragement, security and with the amount of time I spend on my backside, it’s a lot of fun.
The Snow Centre was excellently staffed and it seems to run smoothly, even when it was busy. They had everything available for us to hire and a huge Snow & Rock shop to burn a whole in your pocket. This facility is the bees knees, so if you need to get some ski time, this is the place to go. However, if you are wondering where to go for kit, we got Louis kitted out at Snowear, courtesy of Columbia. You get a glimpse of him in action in the video and his bright orange salopettes and matching grey ski jacket were excellent at keeping him warm, despite the -2 air temperature.
As well as this, it gave and will give me and Louis the chance to continue to develop our step dad & step son relationship, something that is so important to do.