Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Prepare for Snow Days

By Brandi M. Seals

Snow days were always my favorite. I grew up in Michigan and each year after the snow began to fall, my sister and I would hope for a snow day. They were great. We would stay home and play outside all day long. My cousin lived just down the road, so sometimes he would come over or we would go play over there.

What made snow days so great was there was always something to do. It did not matter if we had to stay indoors or if we got to play outside. We never got bored and that is because my parents planned ahead.

Things were easy for us because my mom did not work when we were too young to stay home alone. My parents never had to scramble to find someone to care for us. Now days, most parents do not have that luxury. If there is a snow day, one of the parents has to stay home from work or make last minute arrangements for their children.

If you want snow days to run smoothly in your household, you must plan ahead. Here is how:

Make a plan
If one parent works from home or stays home, that is easy. They will watch after the kids. If both parents work outside the home and there is no one that can stay with young children, you need to plan ahead. Make arrangements with the neighbor so that he or she can watch out for the kids. If that does not work, perhaps have a designated friend or relative that can do the job. If all else fails, there is always daycare or one parent can opt to stay home from work.

Find out what will work for your family and implement it. You should let the person caring for your children know when they can expect your children to be dropped off and picked up in the event of a snow day. You will always want to call ahead on the snow day to make sure they are still available for watching the kids.

Have something to do
If you have someone else watch your children on snow days, you will want to make a pack of toys that kids can take with them when they go. That way you know they will not spend all day vegged out in front of the television. They will actually get some stimulation elsewhere. Try card games and select board games that you know your kids love to play with.

If you are okay with them playing outside while you are away, be sure that they take everything with them to bundle up. Make a list of thing the children should take and post it somewhere that you can find easily.

Provide a list of numbers
Whenever you drop your child off with someone else, be sure to provide them with a list of important phone numbers. Make sure they include numbers to reach you, poison control, and any other important numbers.

With all that in place, you may be able to finally relax when a snow day happens. Now there is no reason to scramble. Keep in mind that sometimes things go wrong. Your child may get sick, get hurt or act up. Let your care provider know when they should contact you if things get out of hand or they are concerned for your children's well being. If you blow them off while your child is in the second hour of a screaming fit or when he has been puking for two hours, expect to burn some bridges. Keep in mind that while it may be inconvenient, you may need to come home.

Provide Compensation
On snow days, expect to pay whoever watches your children. They are doing you a favor and deserve some sort of reward. It can be something simple, like take out from his or her favorite restaurant or money. Just be sure not to overlook their kindness.

All in all, snow days will always be fun for children. It is their unexpected vacation. Try to keep that fun alive for as long as possible. Snow days do not happen for adult, unless you live in the snow-fearing south.

No comments: