As a child mom made rain and snow storms into an adventure and party. She excitedly flung open the curtains and called us to watch the storm and wind howl. When we finished our school work she would teach us baking and cooking skills. The louder the cracks of thunder and lightning that lit up the sky the better it was as our entertainment.
The weather report came to my slumbering sisters and I via the songs dad would sing. “It’s beginning to rain, rain, rain hear the voice of the Father”. Do you know that song? ” There shall be showers of blessings”. He never complained about the weather despite how uncomfortable it made his outside jobs. He decidedly headed out into the weather saying something like , “Well, it’s still the day that the Lord has made.” He also reminded us to be careful about questioning God for His weather choice as though we might have more wisdom that God. It stuck with me.
So Like my mom, I often warm our home with baking and sometimes dinner, ( much to hubby’s disdain that dessert comes first and there may be no dinner) enticing the girls to come closer to me in the warm kitchen and enjoy the camaraderie that the storms provide. And like my dad I typically don’t complain about the weather. But realistically I’m protected from its uncomfortable side.
Children also love the rain , likely its their strong magnetic pull towards any thing that creates a mess for their dear mothers to clean up. As moths are drawn to a light bulb so are children pulled to water and mud. Unless of course they are caught in the rain walking home from the grocery store, library or moms group. Then they stand there wailing their heads off .”I’m too tired”, ” I can’t walk”, ” Pick me up” and on and on they lament coming up with excuses for standing there in the heat, wind, rain or snow while , mom’s blood sugars drops and her patience evaporates . Kids can be so immature !
As exasperating as these experiences could leave me I valued how weather provides opportunities to teach a few points with the girls.
- To be flexible. Weather changes plans and I think it’s the perfect scenario to walk though with children despite our laid out plans the Lord is in charge.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” Proverbs 16:9
- Experiencing discomfort produces empathy. As we walked home in rain, snow and wind, instead of complaining I’ve encouraged the girls to pray for those who do not have a warm home, dry cloths, food and family. I’ve reminded them about a character from a book we’ve read together pondering how she or he must have felt.
- To Persevere, the only way I know how a person can learn perseverance is by persevering. Of course children need lots of encouragement, hand holding and pick ups. I want the girls to realize they often have more stamina than they first believed of themselves. Using accurate vocabulary like persevere will hopefully help them understand the concept of these words which will help you communicate with them in different situations such as picking up the toy’s and school work when the time comes.
- Complaining doesn’t help. By redirecting the complaining and enticing the girls into conversations they slowly begin to realize that complaining interferes in their ability to persevere efficiently and attitude is everything.
HOWEVER, when your stuck have way between places non of the above teaching opportunities are going to actually help you get home.
- Always bring a snack with you, I save Halloween candy packages to divvy up while on outings. I will offer one candy and then use the rest as a reward when we get to a marker. The advantage of a small piece of candy is it boosts the blood sugars quickly and it doesn’t make everyone thirsty like a granola bar does if you don’t have water.
- Bring water not juice, or pop.
- Have your child walk as far as she will, before picking up. Jason and I witnessed a child complaining to her father about walking before they even left the building. The father asked her, (4 or 5 years old) do you want me to carry you for a while first? Jason looked at me and said,” Oh oh, dad’s going to be tired after carrying her all the way home”.
- Use the strap on the side of your stroller or add one. the strap needs to be long enough that your child is not kicking the stroller wheels but short enough that she is still beside you.
Your child needs to be comfortable . The length really makes a difference, please don’t require your child to hold her hand above her head it would be so uncomfortable in that position and she does have something to cry about when she is getting pins and needles in her hand and arm from being held to high. Or in a pinch have your child hold the bottom of your coat or pant leg . My girls walked so much better when they were not allowed to lag behind. My girls will still hold my purse, back pack or coat when we are walking in a crowded, interesting location or the snow is blowing in her face. She can hid her face from the wind or she can concentrate on looking around with out getting lost or left on her own lagging behind.
When a child is lagging behind I give one or two reminders that she needs to hold the strap or walk beside me. I told the girls walking is about relationship as well as getting somewhere and when shes lagging behind it hurts my feelings… I’m a mom with feelings too after all.
So enjoy what could be our last cold spell the sun is shinning the sky is blue.