Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Dealing with scared parents

 


ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 9, 2012, 1:51 AM
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Hi!
So, I'm very eager to book my aff course. The only problem is that my parents have started rebelling against the idea (despite them giving me my first tandem...). While I am 20 years old and could definitely just book the course and crap on their opinions on the matter I figure that maybe I should try to have a constructive conversation with them before that.

So, the question is what do I tell them? How dangerous is skydiving actually compared to other things, like driving or rockclimbing (which I do a great deal of) for instance?

Also, what are your thoughts on the objections of relatives, does it matter that a parent or wife, husband etc is worried about you? My feeling is that it's their fear, and therefore their problem to deal with, even a bit unfair for them to be dumping it on me...


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

May 9, 2012, 4:26 AM
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These are not statistical opinions, rather qualitative, from someone who's done a bit of all of these things:

Driving? More dangerous than that. The 'more likely to get hurt driving to the DZ' thing is total bollocks (though I have a funny story).

Rock climbing? Similar. You can climb as safely as possible and still get hurt or even killed, but it's relatively rare - likewise skydiving. You can also climb embracing great risk, and the same is true of this sport. People get hurt and killed pushing their luck in both activities.

As for your parents, it can be pretty hard to bring the opinion round without physically dragging them to the DZ and letting them absorb the safety vibe.


wmw999  (D 6296)

May 9, 2012, 4:39 AM
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Re: [Joellercoaster] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the advantages of meeting skydivers is that they might begin to see that skydivers really are just like everyone else. Make sure they meet some of the older (i.e. their age) ones who look and act just like normal people; preferably who've been jumping for a long time.

They're your parents; it's their job to worry about you, and if they're supporting you, they get some say in how you spend their money.

Wendy P.


FreeFallFiend

May 9, 2012, 5:05 AM
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Educate them and include them. Show them you know what you are doing and that you are as safe as possible. Introduce them to people, the sport, the program, the regulation. Let them know how important it is to you, it's your lifestyle, it's your happiness.

This will take time.

Three years ago my mother faked a heart attack to try and get me to stop BASE jumping. Now she is incredibly supportive. (Well...supportive of the legal jumps anyway.)


ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 9, 2012, 6:17 AM
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Re: [wmw999] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

They haven't been supporting me financially for a rather long time now, so that is not the question at all. It would simply feel a lot better if they were supportive rather than throwing smug remarks about it every chance they get...
Probably would be a good idea to let them have some understanding of the sport I guess, the only problem is that I at the moment don't have that understanding myself since, well, I'm not even a student yet :P

Edit: Also, thanks a bunch for your answers!


(This post was edited by ph.nilsson on May 9, 2012, 6:18 AM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

May 9, 2012, 6:34 AM
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

There have been a couple other good, long threads in the last couple years on the topic of parents or spouses not liking the sport. (But I'm not sure what search terms to best use to find them.)

One technique is to bring parents out to the dz to see all the reasonably normal people from different walks of life, taking safety seriously & having so much fun; that it isn't all young men with a death with. (... and just hope that nobody femurs that day.)


rehmwa  (D 12816)

May 9, 2012, 8:50 AM
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In reply to:
They haven't been supporting me financially for a rather long time now, so that is not the question at all. It would simply feel a lot better if they were supportive rather than throwing smug remarks about it every chance they get...

Big point here - If you are a big boy (or girl) and supporting yourself, then you make your own choices. If they give any support (money, lodging, etc) to you, then it absolutely is their business - like it or not.

If they are grownups, then they get to do and act however they like about your decisions. If they are really obnoxious about it, then sit down and have a frank discussion.

Suck it up, you don't need their approval. Take your lessons (or not), do a good job (or not), and your decision will either be validated over time or not depending entirely on how safely you are in the sport.

Kids and parents have disagreed on personal choices for the entire history of humanity. Wait for about 3 decades when the roles change and you think it's your business to care for them......that'll be fun.

They'll either: come around some time and watch you eventually, or; if it's a really big deal for them, they'll eventually ignore your hobby as their way to deal with it.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

May 9, 2012, 8:58 AM
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This comes up on a regular basis.

My thought, take them out to see the operation when you aren't going to jump. I'm of the belief that most people's fears are based on misconceptions and ignorance of what really goes on. Give them an opportunity to see what goes on when they know that they don't have to worry about you and they are more likely to see it for what it really is.

The details of what and how I took my mom out to the DZ are HERE. The rest of the thread has some pretty good info also.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

May 9, 2012, 9:46 AM
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Your parents have a very valid concern! Make no bones about it, skydiving is an extream sport that can and does cause serious injury and death. Like Bill said above, be a big boy and make your own decision. But, be ever vigil to the dangers of this sport.

Oh! And, welcome to the sport. Cool


linebckr83  (D 30571)

May 9, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

I started at age 20 also (4 years ago). Although my dad did a tandem the same day I did, he has different views of doing it frequently. I wasn't financially dependent on them either, but their support was important to me.

Their views are similar but the way they handle it is very different. My mom, who is definitely not the adventureous type, usually just hides her fear. My dad throws out the typical "where are you gonna quit?" "what about if x happens?" "youre gonna get hurt doing that" etc etc. The difference is that my mom came out for my A license check dive, then again for my 100th and 500th jumps. She sat and talked to the ladies her age who are mothers as well, and saw that the operation isn't what she expected.

She is now supportive, but I know she worries whenever I'm at the dz. She knows it won't stop me so she doesn't try to convince me to quit. In return, I try to be safe as possible because an injury or fatality would be devestating to her.

I tend to just ignore my dad's comments and eventually he quit sharing his opinion. I do know that he brags to his friends about it when I'm not around.

They will worry, no doubt about that. But there are things you can do to lessen their anxiety:

1. Invite them to watch. The vibe and safety-orientated nature will help them see its mostly normal people doing what they love.
2. When talking about it, focus on the positives. Dont mention what went wrong, who got hurt/died, etc unless they ask. Don't lie about the negatives if asked, but focusing on the positives will show them how happy it makes you and that it's really important to you.
3. Do your part to stay safe and not give them a reason to worry.

I remember that time period like it was yesterday. Nice fall weather, sitting in class not paying an ounce of attention because I kept staring outside trying to imagine what it was going to be like. All through the student progression was an extremely exciting time of my life! Absorb every bit of it Smile


dthames  (B 37674)

May 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
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I am a parent with adult children. Both my parents are still alive and well. I didnít tell them until after my second jump (just last year) because I didnít want to worry them, and because I didnít want the situation you described. I have a deep respect for my parents and their opinions. But at age 19 I told them I appreciated their positions on matters but I had to do what I decided to do (not skydiving that time). This was not a rebellious statement but a statement of ďPlease let me be an adultĒ. I have really great parents, by the way.

For me, maintaining a good relationship with my parent is very high on my list. I donít know what I would do if they tried to act hurt or offended because I did not see something their way. I have a long tradition of being ďdifferentĒ so skydiving is just another chapter in the book. I had sister die of natural causes. What the death of a child does to the parents is certainly a good reason for their concern. I had seen it before with people that I knew but when it happened in our family and I saw how it affected my parents, it really made me understand better. So, donít hold their concern against them. It is very valid. My wife knows I will die from something. She says, she would rather see me get killed having fun than in a car driving home from work.

Educating them has already been suggested. Maybe you can discover what they really are fearful of and address those things directly. Tell them you wonít swoop or something. Show them some Jeb Corliss clips, get all excited, then back down and say you will restrict yourself to jumping from a plane. They should be delighted.


shah269  (A 59581)

May 9, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
One of the advantages of meeting skydivers is that they might begin to see that skydivers really are just like everyone else. Make sure they meet some of the older (i.e. their age) ones who look and act just like normal people; preferably who've been jumping for a long time.
Wendy is right on with this.


Premier quade  (D 22635)
Moderator
May 9, 2012, 11:06 AM
Post #13 of 42 (2942 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

Assuming you've moved out, pay your own rent and medical insurance, then you're old enough to make your own decisions without your parents permission or approval. Grow a pair, F what they think and just do it.

If, on the other hand, you're dependent on them for your continued well being, you may have to give them some consideration.


-ftp-

May 9, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

Just don't tell them if it's easier, my mother still thinks I sold my motorcycle 5 years ago, if she saw my garage she'd freak that I have not 1 but 3 bikes haha.


ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 9, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Firstly, thanks again for all the replies!
Just to clarify, I do live in their home some times when I'm off from school, since my job is in the town where they live. Apart from that they haven't been paying any bills or supporting me in any other way for the past two years now. As for medical insurance, I live in Sweden, where such things doesn't have to be paid;) (I know, we have ridiculous taxes instead...)

Thing is, I really like my parents, and while I definitely understand their concern (trust me, i'm not exactly all zen about jumping out of a friggin plane either;) I just feel that it's important for them to understand my choices.

That being said, they seem to have changed their opinion almost over night to a much more understanding, altough not entirely liking attitude. I probably think I would have booked my aff-course even without approval, but it feels better having them behind me.


wmw999  (D 6296)

May 9, 2012, 12:51 PM
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Frankly, that sounds like a mature attitude. They'll be your family all your life, and it's always best if you can share (or at least not hide) parts of your life from people you care about.

If nothing else, then you don't have to make up fake people, and remember which fake person you are everywhere.

Wendy P.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

May 9, 2012, 12:56 PM
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My 23 yo daughter rides a motorcycle on the streets of Boston. Am I happy about that? No, but it's her decision, not mine. Did my parents like skydiving? No, but it was my decision.

They eventually got used to it. Smile


ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 9, 2012, 2:20 PM
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Okay, so now I just booked the aff course for early august, so seems I'll be dealing more with a scared... myself rather than scared parents in the upcoming months :D

Thanks again for quick and good answers!


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

May 9, 2012, 7:51 PM
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

What? No course this weekend? Wussie!!! Wink


ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 9, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Haha, I would have liked to, but august was the earliest course that wasn't booked, some dz's are even booked for the entire season already;)


Hellis

May 10, 2012, 12:16 AM
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In reply to:
As for medical insurance, I live in Sweden, where such things doesn't have to be paid;) (I know, we have ridiculous taxes instead...)


Not entirely true.
You will be insured, but you have to pay for it yourself.


Andy9o8  (D License)

May 10, 2012, 3:11 AM
Post #22 of 42 (2683 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Frankly, that sounds like a mature attitude. They'll be your family all your life, and it's always best if you can share (or at least not hide) parts of your life from people you care about.

If nothing else, then you don't have to make up fake people, and remember which fake person you are everywhere.

Wendy P.

That being said, as suggested in post #14, sometimes parents are so fearful or oppositional that keeping them completely in the dark is simply the only course practical. Long story short, that was the case with my mom, who is the hysterical type - it was almost 20 years before I told her; and although my dad did know, he was so opposed that I simply never discussed it with him further. Believe me, for my parents, that definitely was the right course for me to follow. YMMV, as the saying goes.


potatoman  (Student)

May 14, 2012, 4:10 AM
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Re: [FreeFallFiend] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

Faked a heart attack....This one should go to the papers..nice.

1 more thing that I did, was asked the instructor if my mother could sit in on the course. I also said that if she is not fine with it after the course then I won't jump.

So, she sat in, and half way through the course, she got up and said, "this is safer than you cycling, I am out of here, phone me before you jump, I wanna check".

Since then she was happy. The basic things she saw:
Good Structure in coaching
The professionalism
The safety factors (Reserve, aad, drills, The fact that you get trained on different mals and how to deal with it).


obelixtim  (D 84)

May 15, 2012, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
but august was the earliest course that wasn't booked, some dz's are even booked for the entire season already;)

Do these DZ's have any clue what they are doing. If there is a demand for courses, why do they not cater for it.

Talk about making it more difficult than is necessary. It is already difficult when you have delays due to nature, with weather and the like....

I wonder how many potential skydivers change their minds and never ever get to do it because the interval between deciding to try it and actually getting trained is too long...

Some DZO's really have no brains at all....


piisfish

May 16, 2012, 12:13 AM
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In reply to:
Do these DZ's have any clue what they are doing. If there is a demand for courses, why do they not cater for it....
sometimes you can't just add days to the calendar. Sometimes you don't want to work with "other" instructors...
But you could go to Sweden and cater for their needs, seems you already have a business plan Angelic


Hellis

May 16, 2012, 12:22 AM
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Re: [obelixtim] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

Not enough instructors is a very common reason.

But since I don't know which dz he is talking about, I can only give you the most common reason.


ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 16, 2012, 1:18 AM
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I did some more looking, and actually found a DZ with a couple of open spots on their aff-course which starts in just 10 days, so I'm signed up there instead now, can't wait for a summer of skydiving right now Cool


yarpos  (D 373)

May 16, 2012, 2:21 AM
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you say its their fear and they are dumping it on you.... who will pick up the pieces if at age 20 you end up paraplegic or similar?

highly unlikely...but the dumping or fear/risk is not uni-directional.

they probaly arent even thinking this way and are just expressing normal parents need to protect you.....it never goes away really.

in the end you have to live your life and the parents willl cope anf probably come to admire it and brag about it. I never knew my mother lived in terror of me not returning from skydiving/motocross till 30 years later Crazy


divadgagnon  (A License)

May 16, 2012, 3:14 PM
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Going through how the gear is made with them might help (it did for me even though they would not have stopped me from doing it, it still reassured them). Explaining things like what are RSLs and AADs usually makes it easier to accept as they understand skydiving is not just throwing yourself recklessly out of an airplane.


PiLFy  (A License)

May 16, 2012, 5:14 PM
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

Rebellious parents? Yeah, they can wear on ya. Take away their Internet connection & flat screen TV for a week. That'll learn 'em...


obelixtim  (D 84)

May 17, 2012, 1:42 AM
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 quote <sometimes you can't just add days to the calendar. Sometimes you don't want to work with "other" instructors...
But you could go to Sweden and cater for their needs, seems you already have a business plan > quote.


The DZ is obviously run by amateurs.....If they were serious about providing a service they would make it happen....

My business plan is simple....if there is a demand, cater for it. Its not rocket science.


hokierower  (B 36150)

May 18, 2012, 5:29 AM
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Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

My parents were a little taken aback when I started, but they don't have any problem with me jumping. Their only request is that I give them a phone call/text at the end of the day/weekend letting them know I'm alive and in one piece.

My mom was a little more panicked when I told her I bought my gear and it was all used. She wanted to know what was wrong with the canopy that had caused the owner to sell it.


uberchris  (A License)

May 18, 2012, 9:45 AM
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In reply to:
Rebellious parents? Yeah, they can wear on ya. Take away their Internet connection & flat screen TV for a week. That'll learn 'em...

+1000 =)


wmw999  (D 6296)

May 18, 2012, 9:50 AM
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Re: [uberchris] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

Naw, just re-program the TV remote, and change their icons around for email -- you know, all those things they ask you to do Sly

Wendy P.


crunchycracker

Jun 11, 2012, 11:06 AM
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As I said in another thread I did not start skydiving while my parents were alive. While realizing everyone's situation is different, I had an ailing father and a mother confined to a wheelchair. So if something happened to me what would have happened to them? Not to mention they would be worried the whole time. To each their own but I personally wouldn't have put them through it - feel it would have been very selfish on my part.


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Jun 11, 2012, 10:51 PM
Post #36 of 42 (525 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hi!
So, I'm very eager to book my aff course. The only problem is that my parents have started rebelling against the idea (despite them giving me my first tandem...). While I am 20 years old and could definitely just book the course and crap on their opinions on the matter I figure that maybe I should try to have a constructive conversation with them before that.

So, the question is what do I tell them? How dangerous is skydiving actually compared to other things, like driving or rockclimbing (which I do a great deal of) for instance?

Much more dangerous. Assuming you start young there's a 1 in 50 chance you'll be killed skydiving over the next 20 years (not including plane crashes which are counted separately).

It's worse than riding motorcycles.

Quote:
Also, what are your thoughts on the objections of relatives, does it matter that a parent

No unless they're still supporting you financially.

Quote:
or wife, husband

Yes. Marriage for most people leads to children which need to be provided for financially, emotionally, and otherwise for a few decades. Financial arrangements are often made based on the skydiving partner(s) being around for quite a while (career compromises, mortgages that can't be paid comfortably with one salary, etc.)

At the very least you need to take that into account and provide sufficient life and disability insurance.

Quote:
etc is worried about you?

No.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Jun 11, 2012, 10:55 PM)


FallloutboyDAoC  (A 55768)

Jun 14, 2012, 9:59 AM
Post #37 of 42 (468 views)
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What i did was not care about how anyone else felt but me. I guess that's selfish. Whatever.


Shredex

Jun 14, 2012, 10:31 AM
Post #38 of 42 (459 views)
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Re: Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

I just don't tell mine :P


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Jun 14, 2012, 11:51 AM
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In reply to:
What i did was not care about how anyone else felt but me. I guess that's selfish. Whatever.
That's not selfish. It's your life. Live it your way. That's how we raised our kids.


Squeak  (E 1313)

Jun 14, 2012, 11:33 PM
Post #40 of 42 (416 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
What i did was not care about how anyone else felt but me. I guess that's selfish. Whatever.
That's not selfish. It's your life. Live it your way. That's how we raised our kids.

It IS selfish, but that's the way it should be. Look after SELF. Enjoy YOUR life YOUR way, dont live in resentment wishing you had made different choices.


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jun 15, 2012, 10:43 AM
Post #41 of 42 (378 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Much more dangerous. Assuming you start young there's a 1 in 50 chance you'll be killed skydiving over the next 20 years (not including plane crashes which are counted separately).

It's worse than riding motorcycles.

Drew - motorcycling has roughly the same 1 in 1000 annual risk of death as skydiving. Not sure what the injury level is like - I suspect biking has a greater risk of a bad crash like mine, but that's just a gut feel. I do remember being a bit taken back by the number of people in crutches I would see at the DZ.

Obviously swooping versus not and other choices (canopy selection) affect the risks substantially.


overlytall  (A License)

Jun 18, 2012, 1:58 AM
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Re: [kelpdiver] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

As much as I could understand a relative worrying about you hurting yourself, I fully agree that it is your choice, your life.

I have been lucky with my parents. I ride motorbikes, climb and would try anything that replaces blood with adrenaline. They know I want to enjoy myself and I grin like a fool whenever I bring up my upcoming AFF. They can see it makes me happy - even though I have just jumped the once.

I can easily say I fell Sly in-love with skydiving the moment I got near a chute. Follow your love, live your life, love your life from >10,000ft


Perhaps you could convince them to do a tandem jump?



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