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

 

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ph.nilsson  (A License)

May 9, 2012, 1:51 AM
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Dealing with scared parents Can't Post

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
Post #2 of 42 (3264 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #9 of 42 (3096 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #12 of 42 (3057 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (3043 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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Re: [quade] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #16 of 42 (2976 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [JohnMitchell] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [skyjumpenfool] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (2784 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
Post #24 of 42 (2537 views)
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Re: [ph.nilsson] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #25 of 42 (2532 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] Dealing with scared parents [In reply to] Can't Post

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


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