Making a Winning Winter
Winters in Utah are long, cold, and unpredictable. I’d like to share some ideas about making the most of the winter months. I have drawn many of these thoughts from Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions. She has great suggestions for keeping winter blues at bay.
Keep with the Routines
“With cold weather zapping everyone’s energy and snow days throwing a monkey wrench into outdoor plans, it’s easy to get lazy with regular routines. Combat schedule sluggishness by sticking to your set routines each day—even when bad weather cancels school or quells activities.
“When the expectation exists that household jobs and homework continue to be done daily, they’ll be no need for questioning or quarreling later. When parents are consistent with routines and structure, kids feel more secure—giving them fewer reasons to act out.”
Look for Silver Linings
“Make it a practice to help your kids be mindful and in the present – even when things don’t go their way. Steer the narrative away from the bad weather to the fun activities of the day, the blessing of time together and the opportunity to get creative. Helping kids shift their mindsets now will not only get YOU through the gray days of winter, but will help them see the silver linings throughout the major and minor upsets of life.
“One way I encourage parents to do this is by shifting their language from saying ‘I have to’ to ‘I get to.’ Instead of ‘I have to stay home with the kids on this snow day,’ you can say ‘I get to hang out with my kids today!’”
“This slight change in language gives children a greater sense of belonging because they aren’t seen as a burden, but rather as a gift. And we know that when a child’s need for belonging is met, they are less likely to act out.”
Working together, we can make winter a positive, happy time for children.