If you live in a place with strong winters and are a new parent, winter can be a challenge. If your children are school-age, that means they may be home during a snowstorm or during winter break. If they are old enough to want to play in the snow, balancing fun and safety can feel like a challenge.
Also, we have to mention that depression is worse in winter.
So how can you as a parent survive the winter season? Here’s how.
If They Want to Be Outside
Playing in the snow is fun and your kid can make some good memories out of it. However, you want your child to play safe as well. Here are some ways you can do so.
- Dress them up in the appropriate clothing. This may sound obvious, but some parents don’t put enough layers on their child or give them slightly damp clothes. This can make a situation worse. Make sure they are dressed for winter.
- Children overestimate their strength and may stay outside too long. Every half hour or so, invite them back in for some hot chocolate and some water. Frequent breaks can prevent frostbite and other cold-related symptoms.
- Supervise them. Some older children can handle being outside and know when to come back in, but if your child is under 8, make sure you’re watching them. Even for an older child, a second pair of eyes may be useful, as there are cars and other obstacles your child may not notice due to possible poor lighting. Also, make sure your child is playing in a place that’s appropriate. Don’t play near a road or in poor lighting conditions. Don’t let them play near a body of water or on a frozen pond.
- Don’t play as it’s storming. If there is a snowstorm outside, your kids should only play in it after everything is settled. Until then, bundle up and let them watch it from outside.
- If it’s sunny outside, give them sunscreen. A sunburn isn’t caused by the temperature, but by the sun’s rays. It’s still possible to get sunburnt, especially if the sunlight is reflecting from the snow.
FamilyHype has some other cool ideas for playing outside, and fun items they’ll enjoy!
As winter rages on, you should make some preparations in your home as well. Here are a few ways you can do this.
- Check up on your heater. Do a maintenance test on it and make sure it’s working properly.
- Buy some winter-related goods like deicer or an ice scraper. You don’t want to have to drive to the store to get it.
- Put some winter-related goods in your car. Blankets, clothes, batteries, and other equipment you can use should you become stranded.
- Buy some food, batteries, blankets, candles, and other goods you may use if the power goes out. An ice storm can knock out the power for a long time, and you don’t want that.
Sometimes, your own health can be at risk. Depression and seasonal affective disorder, as well as raising children, can make you feel depressed. Here are some ways you can combat this.
- Make sure you’re eating right and exercising. Get a gym membership, or buy some equipment to work out at home.
- Get plenty of rest. The changing times can affect your sleep, and you need to be mindful of that. Practice healthy sleep rituals as you do so.
- Don’t worry too much about holiday spending if you can’t afford it.
- Make sure you’re getting outside as well. A small little trip outside, even if it’s cold, can help you out quite a bit.
- Play with your kids and bond with them. This can help you grow closer to them and allow you to feel better and take your mind off any depression you may have.
- If depression keeps up, talk with a counselor or another professional to help you.
Winter for newer parents can be a challenge, but it’s all about depression. Winter is long, it can be inconvenient, but it can also be a beautiful time and a chance to make some memories. See what you can make out of it.