Snow Day – Parenting through the Unexpected

Snow Day – Parenting through the Unexpected
by Andrea Goslee

It’s 5:30 am and the phone rings with the unexpected message, “School is canceled due to inclement weather.” You roll over in hopes to get another hour of sleep and the younger kids are so excited that there is no school that they are bouncing off the walls. Your next thought might be, “Now, what?”

You may be scrambling to find childcare. You may be trying to hold down frustrations that the one free day you had to go grocery shopping is now blown to pieces. Or, you may actually be excited to spend some long overdue quality time together as a family. Whatever your scenario, there is one full proof way to guarantee that the unexpected will not feel quite as unexpected. It is having a plan in place before the unexpected happens.

What can you do in advance to avoid the possible chaos that a curve ball such as a snow day may throw your way? The easiest way to parent through the unexpected is to have a plan in place in advance. Consider filling in the blanks to this statement:
When the kids have a snow day, then _____________________________.

Consider these possible options:
When the kids have a snow day, then we will turn it into a fun family day.
When the kids have a snow day, then I will take off work to spend time with them.
When the kids have a snow day, then I will work from home and find a way for the kids to help.
When the kids have a snow day, then they will spend some quality time with Grandma (or the babysitter, child care worker, etc).

As a parent, God has given you a great privilege to lead your children. In Proverbs 22:6 it commands this, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” A snow day is a perfect opportunity to take time to put this into action and help your child see what is important to your family. They are only young once, and you will be glad that you took the time to focus your attention on ways to help them become the person that God created them to be.

Here are some fun, easy and practical ways to spend quality time together when you have some unexpected downtime (or pass these ideas on to your childcare provider):

  • If it is truly a snow day, play in the snow! Go sledding, build a snowman or make snow ice cream.
  • Grab the blankets and kitchen chairs and build an indoor fort. This is a fun place to eat lunch or tell stories from the past.
  • Have you been waiting for a day to sort old pictures? Get the kids involved to help organize and sort photos. They will love taking a trip down memory lane.
  • Plan an indoor treasure hunt. Hide coins around the house for the kids to find. The child that finds the most gets to be the next one to hide them and receives a small prize.

(and you can take a break and have some extra time for yourself as the kids continue to play).

  • Have a game fest. Let everyone in the house choose one game, and then play each one of them. Don’t forget to make a couple of snacks to fill up hungry tummies.
  • Let the kids help with a home project or long overdue organizing in a fun way, such as rearranging a room or reorganizing a closet together.
  • If you are off at work, plan a Facetime call sometime during the day so your kids can
    show you the fun they are having allowing you to be a part of it, too.

Will there be some hiccups during the day? Of course! At least if you have an initial plan, it can help you keep your focus on the reason that you made the decision in the first place: to create an opportunity to lead your children and intentionally invest in your family.

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” If you truly want to lead your family intentionally, make a plan for the unexpected. Know what you are going to do before the chaos happens and you will be on your way to training up your child in the way they should go.