As winter approaches, most of us are beginning to dread the icy roads, frozen windshields, increased energy bills and snow shoveling. To grownups, winter doesn’t bring much excitement. But for children, snow has endless potential: tromping through knee-high snow, making tracks, licking icicles, making angels, throwing snowballs and sliding down hills.
Be in the moment
When the first flurry of snow meanders through the air, stop and take in the experience right alongside your kids. Watch their eyes, their hands and their spirit. Stop for just a moment and enjoy the snow like it's your first time.
On the days when lots of snow falls, bundle up with the kids and kick some snow. Make a snow man or snow angel. Throw a couple of snowballs (not at people!) Become a little kid again. Use that moment to laugh and play and connect with your child.
And when you’re so cold that you can’t feel your fingers, go back in the house. Coming back into the warmth is part of the fun! Make a cup of cocoa and talk about the fun you had. It doesn't matter if the sink is full of dishes or the laundry is waiting. These are the moments that define parenting.
Let it slow!
Sharing moments with our kids is what it’s all about. Slow down! Allow space in your busy life to stop and play in the snow. These connecting moments are where bonds are made. Say ‘no’ to a few things in your life so you have time to say ‘yes’ to the really important things. Share this winter experience, even if just for a minute. One of the deep treasures of parenting is looking at the world through our children’s eyes. To them everything is new and exciting, even the snow and cold.
That one little moment in the snow, when you forgot about all the negatives of winter, will last a lifetime for both you and your child.
Hurry up can come later.
Jeanne Labana, from Milwaukee, has been an educator for over 25 years. She teaches parenting classes and is a PCI certified Parent Coach.