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Skydiving and families (part 2)

 

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dontlikemustard  (B License)

Apr 23, 2012, 8:19 PM
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Skydiving and families (part 2) Can't Post

Skydiving is not for everyone, and the notion of willingly jumping out of airplanes to many people is absolutely crazy. While I respect different opinions and perspectives as all being valid one way or another, how could I go about convincing my dad to stop worrying about me picking up this sport?

Though I am completely independent from him, and he has no real control over my decisions, I don't want to have to resort to lying to him about it.

I care about my family, and I can't help but feel a little selfish. But I also love this sport, the thought of jumping is literally popping in my head every minute of the day. I am doing my AFF2 and 3 this Saturday, I would love to go to the dropzone without feeling guilty about it.

I am sure someone on this forum has been in a similar situation? I have tried everything from throwing him a bunch of statistics, to trying to trying to convince him to do a tandem, but he wont budge...

Thoughts?


angle228  (B License)

Apr 23, 2012, 8:30 PM
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Here is a trick. Instead of trying to do without him knowing (like I did with my long distance girlfriend.) Tell him every time you jump. Tell him how much fun you had and keep reporting all of the positive things. "it was a great day at the DZ i got in jump number 21 and my instructers say im doing great". When he asks question hopeing for a negative response like "how many reserve rides have you had bla bla bal how many poepl die a year bla bla bla." explain to him in a positive way that does not emphasize death or injury in the sport but highlights the best parts of the sport. You dont have to lie and tell him no one ever gets hurt skydiving but dont spend 75 percent of the convo trying to convince him its safe. after a while of hearing good reports from you he will slowly come around. Think of it this way, the first time he ever heard of skydiving was probably a news story of some guy dieing. So you have that many years of a negative impression of the sport to undo.

**sorry for all grammer/spelling errors. I'm tired and drunk. SlyAngelic


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 23, 2012, 8:34 PM
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

You can't stop a parent from worrying. It's what they do.

What you can do is constantly assure him that you recognize the risks you are taking, that the reward is very much worth those risks to you and that you are now and will always do everything you can to reduce those risks.

Don't throw it in his face, but don't lie to him when he asks. There's no need to make him worry more by letting him know when you are heading out to the dz, but if he asks be honest. Be willing to send him an "I'm okay" text at the end of your jumping day, too.

The longer you jump, the more likely it is that he will "come around." My mom was quite unhappy with my choice to skydive; took several years for her to come to the dz to watch. Over time she's not only accepted it, but is proud of the fact that her daughter jumps from airplanes. Smile


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 23, 2012, 8:41 PM
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Quote:
how could I go about convincing my dad to stop worrying about me picking up this sport?

Might never happen. Your dad might worry about you for the rest of his life. There are worse things.

Things that have worked for others, invite him to come to the DZ as an observer. Not to jump, or ride in the plane, but just to see the operation up close, and see what the sport is all about. Maybe have him sit in on your ground training and dirt dives so he can see that this it's an 'organized' place with qualified professionals working there.

Beyond that, you might just have to move forward with a difference of opinion. Offer to call at the end of every jumping day, just to 'check in', but beyond that proceed with your life as you see fit.


JohnnyMarko

Apr 23, 2012, 8:45 PM
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Try being a 22 year old gay skydiving student Tongue


oldwomanc6

Apr 23, 2012, 8:47 PM
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I hate to tell you, the only way to convince those that care about, you who are already convinced that you are on the fast track to a short life, that you are not, is to not get hurt or worse for a very long time.

You don't need to lie to them, but I wouldn't tell them every time you jump, either. That only serves to worry them. Most people don't understand why anyone would do this, so do it, but don't throw it in their faces either. If you're not accountable to them, you don't need to worry them either.

Eventually, if you jump long enough without any incident, the worst of their concern will go away, or at least not be utmost in their minds. It will never go away completely, because, lets face it, it has the potential to maim or kill you. They worry because they love you.


spage  (C License)

Apr 23, 2012, 9:45 PM
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My mother is the same way. She did not approve at first, but is slowly starting to take an interest in my weekends at the dropzone.

I've tried to emphasize the parts that don't sound scary - instead of saying "Mom, I took up skydiving" I said "Mom, I'm spending a lot of time learning how to fly a parachute. It's beautiful up there!"

Explaining what an AAD is and why we use them really helped a lot.

I think the turning point, when she finally started to show interest, was when I shared a few DZ pictures where I had a massive ear to ear smile on my face. She's a great mom and wants her kids to be happy, so when she saw how happy it makes me, she saw the positives of the sport.


divadgagnon  (A License)

Apr 24, 2012, 4:41 AM
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

Just like many others mentionned, bringing your dad to the DZ would probably help. My grand-father never wanted my dad to skydive when he was younger. He had to wait until he was 30 and even then, his dad wasn't happy about it. My father didn't continue jumping, but when I told him I would do my AFF he was excited about it. My grand-father, of course, didn't like that so I brought him to the DZ with me a few times and as soon as he saw the huge smile in my face that wouldn't go away after I landed he kinda let go and started encouraging me. He even wants to help me out with buying my first rig!

The thing is, as family they will probably always worry, but if they never see what it looks like, they might just imagine a bunch of crazy rednecks jumping out of an airplane without even thinking about it. They need to see what it's like so they stop just trying to picture a false image of the sport in their heads.

That's how I got support from most of my family.

(sorry if my english is not perfect, it's not my first language)


Fast  (D 28237)

Apr 24, 2012, 8:10 AM
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Here is a different perspective. My mom didn't like it at all. I was living with her at the time and she said "stop skydiving or move out, I can't take the stress." You can prolly guess which option I chose.

Skydiving is a huge part of my life, I am on the/a dz literally every weekend, rain or shine. At some point (took a few years) my mom realized that if she wanted to talk to me more than once every other month she needed to stop harping on me about jumping. Since then things have gotten a lot better.

Some level of explanation of "I know skydiving is dangerous, I'm scared too" (which you really need to admit, at least to yourself) and also a "you're not gonna convince me to stop doing this no matter what you try" could help. It just depends what type of person you are and your dad is.

Try to get the point across that he should learn a little about it and try to understand how you're mitigating risk because it will help him feel better about it. For my mom it really took her coming out seeing me executing pretty advanced stuff (swooping, tandems, instructing) to get her to pretty much let go of the fear of me doing it entirely. Which is ironic in a sense because those are some of the more dangerous things you can do.


mrubin  (C License)

Apr 24, 2012, 9:14 AM
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

My mom was not very happy when I started skydiving. To help her feel better, I would always call her after a day of jumping to let her know that I was okay. But what really helped was when she came to the dropzone to watch me jump. She saw how careful everyone was with gear checks and planning the dives. She also saw how happy it made me and how comfortable I was at the dz. All of that and me standing up a couple landings in front of her really helped.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Apr 24, 2012, 10:09 AM
Post #11 of 29 (1978 views)
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have tried everything from throwing him a bunch of statistics...

"Throwiing a bunch of statistics" and trying to assert what you are doing is "safe" (or "safer" than this, or that ...pick yer poison) - is a MISTAKE! - It is NOT safe!!

All you can (and should) do, is re-assure that you are RESPONSIBLY assessing (and ACCEPTING) the risks, and as others have said - that you will (again) approach it RESPONSIBLY, in such a way as you can effectively manage, and mitigate those risks. Yes, stepping off your couch, and even further off your front porch to cross the street has its dangers. You mitigate those by watching your step, and then looking both ways before you cross the street - and not just every so often, suddenly and blindly bursting off your couch, out the door and bolting directly without regard for anything around you, into the street. Those risks are relatively easy to understand, and even for the totally ground-bound WHUFFO to "identify with". You can also choose to just simply stay on your couch too, right? And never move/leave it. But what sort of "life" would that be?

Everyone chooses how much risk in their lives they want to manage, and take the time and effort to identify with. I know many skydivers who think that BASE jumping is absolutely nuts too. If anyone in that arena ever tries to convince them it is "safe", or "safer" than x, y, z, etc. - that holds no credibility at all either. But many can (and will) understand that you can do things either completely irresponsibly and wrecklessly, or rather - that you are one of those that will manage, and mitigate the risks you choose to take in your life. - WHATEVER those choices may turn out to be.

Your father will always be "worried about you", no matter what you do. I worry about BOTH of my sons too - one of them who jumps, and one who does not. But I also recognize, and at some point have to also "let go", and trust in that it is THEIR life, and if I have raised them right (individual own self-insecurities here may vary Wink) - that they will for the most part for themselves, take the most appropriate precautions and preparations towards whatever they do, and in short - do the "right" thing(s).

FWIW.


bucketlistpilot  (C 1204)

Apr 24, 2012, 2:35 PM
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It's part of being a Dad. After 3 years and 200+ jumps in the sport I thought I'd rationally considered the risks in skydiving and was comfortable in my approach to managing them.

4 weeks ago my 16yo son and his best mate did AFF through to A licence over a 2 week period. So much for being rational! As they walked to the plane for their first jump I wanted to physically drag them away and scream "what the fuck are you doing".

Thankfully after his first safe landing I returned to a normal, rational, and very proud dad and skydiver. I was shocked at the strength of emotions and fears that I felt given my experience.

Don't hide it from your dad. Involve him as much as you can. His inbuilt need to protect you will always be there but it will become more rational over time.

Enjoy the ride and your dad follow in time.

Cheers



My boy's AFF levels.
https://vimeo.com/39867792


dontlikemustard  (B License)

Apr 25, 2012, 8:25 AM
Post #13 of 29 (1814 views)
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Thanks for the tips. I think I'll have to take him out to the DZ one of these days.


Rstanley0312  (D 31900)

Apr 25, 2012, 8:52 AM
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In reply to:
It's part of being a Dad. After 3 years and 200+ jumps in the sport I thought I'd rationally considered the risks in skydiving and was comfortable in my approach to managing them.

4 weeks ago my 16yo son and his best mate did AFF through to A licence over a 2 week period. So much for being rational! As they walked to the plane for their first jump I wanted to physically drag them away and scream "what the fuck are you doing".

Thankfully after his first safe landing I returned to a normal, rational, and very proud dad and skydiver. I was shocked at the strength of emotions and fears that I felt given my experience.

Don't hide it from your dad. Involve him as much as you can. His inbuilt need to protect you will always be there but it will become more rational over time.

Enjoy the ride and your dad follow in time.

Cheers



My boy's AFF levels.
https://vimeo.com/39867792

Great addition to the thread. My wife has made a few jumps and wants to make more and I feel the same way when she gets on the plane. I still don't want her to be a skydiver.... she asks me why and I say "bc it's too dangerous!" Laugh


skydave114  (D License)

Apr 25, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Been skydiving 22 years. Mom still doesn't like it. Good thing she doesn't understand how BASE is different. Wink


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Apr 26, 2012, 9:09 AM
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

I am sure someone on this forum has been in a similar situation? I have tried everything from throwing him a bunch of statistics, to trying to trying to convince him to do a tandem, but he wont budge...

Thoughts?

Devilís Advocate...

I know you donít want to hear this, but, your dad is right!!! In over 35 years in this sport, the only time Iíve ever been nervous in a jump plane was the day my daughter did her first Tandem and I was sitting next to her. This is a dangerous sport and you put your life at risk every time you board a jump plane. Thatís a fact that you canít sweep under the wheel skirts. And, that affects the people close to you.

Your dad is not going to change his mind because he does not have your passion for the sport. Accept that and deal with it. You donít have to lie to him, but you might consider being discrete about where and when you jump. What he doesnít know wonít bother him.

My Sig lineÖ Thatís what my dad told me the day I made my first jump. He too was correct!
Smile


dontlikemustard  (B License)

Apr 26, 2012, 10:20 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

I am sure someone on this forum has been in a similar situation? I have tried everything from throwing him a bunch of statistics, to trying to trying to convince him to do a tandem, but he wont budge...

Thoughts?

Devilís Advocate...

I know you donít want to hear this, but, your dad is right!!! In over 35 years in this sport, the only time Iíve ever been nervous in a jump plane was the day my daughter did her first Tandem and I was sitting next to her. This is a dangerous sport and you put your life at risk every time you board a jump plane. Thatís a fact that you canít sweep under the wheel skirts. And, that affects the people close to you.

Your dad is not going to change his mind because he does not have your passion for the sport. Accept that and deal with it. You donít have to lie to him, but you might consider being discrete about where and when you jump. What he doesnít know wonít bother him.

My Sig lineÖ Thatís what my dad told me the day I made my first jump. He too was correct!
Smile

That's why I want to convince him to jump. To be honest, I had the exact same philosophy he has regarding this sport i.e. "its a completely unnecessary risk that makes absolutely no sense to take part in considering how expensive and dangerous it is". I then made the mistake of trying a tandem to "freshen up" after going through a terrible winter break. Lets just say that tandem completely changed my perspective on life and this sport, I'm thinking his might too.

People like my pops live life in survival mode. He never breaks a rule, and I suppose its been working out for him. He is 67, has almost perfect vision, never gets sick, no health problems whatsoever. He has a risk-free/live a long life philosophy. Doesn't fit well with this sport lol.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Apr 26, 2012, 9:24 PM
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In reply to:
People like my pops live life in survival mode. He never breaks a rule, and I suppose its been working out for him. He is 67, has almost perfect vision, never gets sick, no health problems whatsoever. He has a risk-free/live a long life philosophy. Doesn't fit well with this sport lol.

If that's working for him, and he's happy, why would you want to change him?


oldwomanc6

Apr 26, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Do not try to "convince" your dad to jump.


BigBUG  (D License)

Apr 27, 2012, 3:38 AM
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Re: [oldwomanc6] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me ask - should we ever convince _anyone_ to jump at all?

Now I am working in the tunnel and there is a bunch of people asking me how to jump after their tunnel session. I found out that now I am very careful with this and give them only very basic information, not 'convincing' anyone.

I was very enthusiastic and invited everyone to jump - but now I think that this is the decision that person should take by himself. After all, it really be a life-changing decision.

That's why I generally not like when kids under 12 doing tandems.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Apr 27, 2012, 4:15 AM
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 I used to train big groups of school kids (16yr olds), as part of their schools PE programme, and I had an open invitation to any parent who wanted to to sit through the training.

Plenty of them did so, and you could see them visibly relax a little when they saw with their own eyes how a parachute opened (SL), and how it was constructed, and how the reserve and AAD worked.

I'm sure that it didn't prevent all the anxiety they felt, but I never had a parent pull their son/daughter out of the course.

A side benefit was having quite a number of parents decide to do a course as well, difference was I was able to charge them full price.

I had 9 schools out of the 15 in the area in the programme, and trained around 800 schoolkids to do a one jump course over a 5 year period....

Later on a lot of them brought new jumpers along when they went to university, and later still work colleagues when they were part of the workforce.

Your dad is prolly suffering from an active imagination borne out of horror stories and ignorance. I bet he has no problem with you driving a car, or any other risks we take in normal life....

Remember, life is a terminal disease.


(This post was edited by obelixtim on Apr 27, 2012, 4:25 AM)


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Apr 27, 2012, 4:49 AM
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thought #1 - Don't try to "convince" him to do it. If he wants to, great. If not, not. As you said in your opening line, it's not for everyone.

Thought #2 - Is it practical to go out to the DZ when you won't be jumping? Take him out and let him see the operation without the stress and worry of having to see you jump. Let him see the operation, the gear checks, the attention to detail, all the stuff that makes it a lot safer than most people think.
And the smiles and energy. How much fun we have.

That's how I did it. I invited my mom out to watch when I was going to fly the plane and not jump. Knowing she wouldn't have to see me doing it allowed her to watch without having to worry about her "little boy" being in danger.
She had a blast. She really enjoyed watching the whole operation going on. She said later that she was able to enjoy it and take it in much better without having to worry about me.
So the next time I was jumping, I again invited her out. She came and watched, this time knowing I'd be jumping.
She again had a blast. We had inside video on the jumps I did, so we'd put the raw footage up on the TV in the hangar while we packed. She was absoultely fascinated seeing the jump footage after watching us from the ground. There was a high, thin overcast so that she could see us in the sky really well.
She commented on the way home that she was surprised not to get the "pit of the stomach" fear when she saw us in the air.
She became a fairly regular fixture at the DZ for the last couple years we were open. Her favorite was the first time tandems. She always got a kick out of how different they were before and after the jump. Smile


virgin-burner

Apr 27, 2012, 8:44 AM
Post #23 of 29 (1501 views)
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havent told my dad until jump 100 or so.. when i DID tell him, his answer was quite expected "what a waste of money, you're crazy, yadda-yadda-yadda!"

fast forward a couple years, he shows my mom a video of me on youtube, saying proudly "look, that's our SON jumping out of a plane!" Cool

dad's always take a little longer! Wink


dontlikemustard  (B License)

Apr 27, 2012, 9:10 AM
Post #24 of 29 (1495 views)
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In reply to:
If that's working for him, and he's happy, why would you want to change him?

im not trying to change him, id just like it if he went out and tried something new a little, maybe saw why its fun as opposed to judging a sport hes never tried.

im definitely not pressuring him if thats what you guys are thinking,the last thing i would do is peer pressure someone into anything.


airtwardo  (D License)

Apr 27, 2012, 12:32 PM
Post #25 of 29 (1455 views)
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Re: [dontlikemustard] Skydiving and families (part 2) [In reply to] Can't Post

...how could I go about convincing my dad to stop worrying about me picking up this sport?

In reply to:

As a few people have mentioned, the best way to alleviate his concerns as much as posible...is to get him informed.

Most people have all kinds of misconceptions regarding what, why and how we do what we do.

Once they see 1st hand that we're not a bunch or drugged out drunks with a death-wish, jumping out of falling apart airplanes with nothing more than a bed-sheet and twine...they tend to relax somewhat.

I started jumping at 18, back in my cocky & independent dayz...didn't tell my folks until after completing most of my static line jumps and ready for free-fall.

Dad came out to watch & take pictures, later that evening he told me he was very impressed with the place, the people...the whole operation. Cool

He AND my mom became fixtures at the DZ, they would come out at least once a month bringing homemade food and plenty of beer for everyone...the joke at the DZ was, the only reason I was progressing so fast is because my mother is such a great cook! Sly

My folks always knew I wanted to jump so it wasn't a real shock to them when it came about, after becoming acquainted with the people and the process they more clearly understood 'why' it wasn't going to be a one time thing.

Somebody asked pops once if he was 'worried' about me skydiving, he said he was 'concerned' as any parent would be, that something could happen beyond my control...but that he trusted my judgement. Since I was an adult it was up to me, it wasn't his place to disapprove.

The thing my folks REALLY liked about my involvement in the sport is that I had to sell my motorcycle to buy my 1st rig...Wink


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