Monday, February 7, 2011

Six Ways to Connect with Your Kids During A Long Winter

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With all the snow recently, airport travel was delayed and many passengers found themselves grounded from scheduled flights. While I'm sure there was a lot of complaining, it was easy to see why people had to wait. Storm patterns dictated that it was safer for planes to stay put. 

This winter, I think much of the country can identify with the feeling of being grounded--I know my kids and I can! We’re tired of being cooped up with colds and viruses, and most recently, flu. :( Stuck inside with long periods of inactivity is frustrating for everyone. Like a plane waiting to take off, the runway of winter stretches before me and for some reason, my flight to warm, sunny Springtime is delayed! After the third trip to the doctor's office, the third round of antibiotics, and another forecast of snow and ice, I’m ready to move to Florida! Like a grounded plane, however, I’ve got to understand that I’m staying put for a reason.
If you feel like winter has become an extended “time out,” you’ve got lots of company. This time of year, mothers often feel like prisoners in their homes. Dare you embrace this time of grounding and possibly even enjoy it? Try one or all of these six simple ways to grow and connect during the dark days of winter.
Bake bread. It’s incredible to show your children what a little bit of yeast can do! Tell the story of the Israelites' time of grounding in Egypt. Discuss how they had to skip adding the yeast when it was time to make their escape. How long will it take the bread to rise? Without the yeast, it stays grounded!

Limited use of computers, television, and electronic games. Now is the time to use these items, but be choosy. Make it family time, and play with your kids! When warm weather returns, you can ground these playthings and relegate them to a winter closet.

Board games and card games. It’s fun to make up your family’s own set of house rules and write them down. You can tailor many card games to your children’s ages. Make a chart and have a running tournament. Keep up with the winners, and cheer on the losers. (Another great game for the whole family is Pass the Pigs--so much fun!)

Play outside. Whenever weather and health permit, get some fresh air and playtime outdoors. Dress in layers and stay hydrated.

Swap up the chores. Give your kids something different to do. Housework is one way to stay active, too. Since you are in the house so much during these months, it needs to stay cleaner, especially when it comes to avoiding germs. (We worked hard over this past weekend cleaning things up, and the house stayed clean for around 47 minutes! Wow! :) )


Read together. Let's face it, you can have a zillion channels and still not find anything suitable for family viewing. Winter is a great time to begin a family story hour. Cuddle up in bed or on the couch and take turns reading some of the great classics aloud. Derek and I are still working our way through The Light and the Glory. We're almost finished, and it has been great! A wintry read-aloud for this time of year with younger ones is The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Must haves for reading this book are hot cocoa and extra blankets! The winter in this book is truly LOONNGG and icy cold!)

And what else can you do when you're feeling grounded?
  • Study God’s Word.
  • Rest in His promises.
  • Ask God to use this time to expose His perspective of your life, relationships, and activities.
  • Remember who you are, where you came from, and where you want to go. If there is turbulence ahead, your spirit will be peaceful throughout the bumpy ride.
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My ADHD Me said...

This is a great post. I keep trying to get my youngest to play some board games with me. SOMETIMES he even breaks down and does it even though he would rather be on his computer or video games.
He loves Funnel Cakes. For Christmas I got him a Funnel Cake Kit. We haven't done it yet but I think it is time.

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Wonderful to hear from you! I'm so glad you liked this post!

Yes--it is totally time for funnel cakes! Let me know how they are from the kit!

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