Surviving the winter can be very difficult when you have a house of one to several children running around, yelling, jumping on furniture or constantly saying, in the worst attitude voice possible, “I am bored!” What can you do besides lose your mind?
It doesn’t matter if it is just a weekend or the winter break, surviving the winter season can test families who have children that are young or in college; surviving it is truly an art.
My daughter, now a teenager, seems to have a system that allows us to enjoy the time we have together and do so in a way that lets all of us truly enjoy each other. We try to utilize the following guidelines to enable us, as a family to enjoy each other.
There are three basic things one can do to stay sane for the winter season:
1) Plan and Budget: Talk in advance about what you are thinking of doing and have a basic idea of how much you would like to spend on the activities being planned. Take the time to talk with your children and find out what they want to do, when, where, and how they plan on doing it. This process of talking has allowed our family to express what is important. Sometimes we find that what I like is not what other family members want to do. An example, my husband wanted to ski this winter break, over Christmas and well, the rest of the family wanted to be home and put up a tree, etc. When we finally finished our discussion, we learned a lot about what each of us were expecting from the Holiday. We decided that it would be better to take day ski trips and make an event out of putting up the tree.
By planning in advance the days off from school, eliminates the stress associated with just winging it. Look at the community events that are taking place and decide together what would fit your personal family.
Take the time to decide in advance how much money you plan on spending and start separating the funds; either by putting aside in and envelope or in a separate bank account.
2) Patience: This is hard but by having it you will find that everything does not have to be perfect. You have the right to be lazy some days and the kids can giggle loudly other days. So, be patient and try to work together to get the result you are seeking; sanity. Sanity is hard. Try it with a teenager; they need lots of help but if you give them the room they need and plan ahead of time, your patience will keep the time sane.
Throw perfection out the widow, cookies are going to be burned, spills are going to happen, just enjoy your kids.
3) Be Flexible: By far the best things to be; easier said than done but you need to be flexible. Kids are going to want to do the opposite of what you want so, when you are planning, have 2 or 3 things that you want to done on that day.
You may have everything ready and someone gets sick; rearrange the time you have and have a back up plan ready.
Being prepared for the winter season is not easy but with some planning, patience and flexibility you may just survive the season and if you do, remember summer vacation is quickly approaching.