It started to snow last Friday night just at the tail end of my son’s 4th birthday and it didn’t stop snowing until Saturday afternoon. It was a magical morning for the children and we had so much fun romping in the snow for just a bit.
It would have been great fun to stay out longer but we’re just not very equipped for snow here in Chapel Hill. We had our rain boots and soft, inadequate mittens, layers of pants (no snow pants), and several pairs of socks. Obviously, we got cold very quickly!
The children did well Saturday and Sunday. But then the news came…school was canceled Monday, then Tuesday, and then…Wednesday too. It didn’t take long for there to be lots of tears and frustration from being together in tight quarters for way too long!
Fortunately, I was preparing for my Managing Mommy Anger tele-class and had every opportunity to practice keeping my own cool! Something I am learning again and again when there are sibling squabbles is to allow both parties to be heard. It’s tempting for me to interrupt or correct the tale being shared about the altercation. I bite my lip and focus on listening.
I sit down and invite both children to sit with me, to tell their side of what happened. After tearful sharing, I nod and invite them to share what they would like their sibling to do that would make them feel better. Encouraging them both to problem solve has been an interesting journey. Sometimes it ends in uncontrollable laughter or an angry demand or complete indifference. Just providing the space and a listening ear seems to diffuse the drama.
I have to admit, I’m really grateful snow days are few and far between! How are you and your little ones managing cabin fever?