According to a recent survey, three-quarters of British children spend less time playing outside than inmates. This is shocking, but it's a growing trend even among children who live in nature-rich areas. And guess what the biggest excuse (given globally ) was for keeping children indoors. Nope, it's not stranger danger or even the children's desire to play inside. Instead, 7 in 10 parents and caretakers blamed the weather.
In a way this is good news because it is a factor within our control. If we can challenge our own bias and perceptions around weather, then we can get our kids out more and ultimately transform their entire relationship with the nature.
One of the easiest ways to start is to become more aware of how we're talking about the weather - especially in front of our kids. Here is what I strive for:
Joy: Express joy and enthusiasm for whatever the weather conditions.Flexibility: Be open to changing plans or adapting to what the day's weather brings.Curiosity: Take weather patterns and activity as an opportunity to ask questions, explore and discover.
Below are ten common complaints about the weather and ideas for how to reframe them. Obviously these are situation dependent, but they are just to get you started:
1. I can't wait for it to get warm!What to say instead: We've had so much fun this winter sledding and playing in the snow. I am sad to see it go, but excited for all the different things we'll do in Spring.
2. I hate the cold.What to say instead: I'm working on adjusting my body temperature and getting acclimated to this weather.
Another approach: I always feel warmer after I do a few jumping jacks.
3. Rain again? Looks like we're not going outside today. What to say instead: Looks like it's a muddy puddle day!
Another approach: Wow, the plants and animals really needed this rain.
4. I don't mind the heat, I just can't stand the humidity. What to say instead: Let me go get a quick drink of water, and then we can keep playing.
Another approach: Looks like it's a two shirt day :)
5. What a dreary day. What to say instead: Seems like the sun needed a break. Wow, those clouds are really moving, I wonder what makes them go that fast?6. It's freezing out there! What to say instead: We'll need to put on an extra layer today and bring out some hot chocolate.
7. It wouldn't be so bad out today if the wind wasn't blowing.What to say instead: Let's make a little fort or den and howl with the wind!
8. It's the dampness that makes it colder. What to say instead: What does the ground feel like? I wonder why it's so wet? Good thing we have on our rain pants to keep us dry.
9. This weather is ruining our plans! What to say instead: Let's try to brainstorm something else that would be fun to do and work with the weather today. 10. Finally some good weather!What to say instead: It's nice to see the sun again, but wasn't it fun when we painted in the rain?!
I definitely don't have this licked, but the more I exercise this mental muscle the stronger it gets. If you are specifically interested in how to raise winter-loving kids, I've been working on that too.
Trust me, you've got this. I'd love to hear how it goes or any tips you have!
Your Woman Gone Wild,
PS. If this fails to inspire you, check out Wim Hof aka "Iceman"
PIN FOR LATER!
Why We Have to Change the Way We Talk About the Weather
March 31, 2016
Thank you for this! I think I got much of my negative attitude about rain from my mom. As an adult, I’ve had to work on adjusting my attitude. With my son, he barely even notices bad weather and that has been a good lesson for me as well.