This past weekend, more than two-feet of snow fell in many localities throughout Appalachia, leaving numerous highways impassable and thousands of schools, churches and businesses closed Sunday.
As Sunday turned to Monday there was no need for most parents to even check the school closings list, the feet of snow outside their doors left no doubt that education would be placed on pause by their local school districts thanks to the first winter event of the season.
For many parents, the added free day with their children was a welcomed break from the mundane routine of school, work and afternoon activities.
“We made a snowman, baked cookies and even lit a fire in the fireplace while watching Christmas cartoons together,” recalled one Appalachian mother who spoke on the condition of anonymity, adding, “It felt so great to spend time with my children and be the mother I always dreamed of being.”
Some 72-hours after the first snowflake appeared, multiple Appalachian school districts have yet to reopen and have already announced via their social media pages that on Wednesday classes will be canceled for a third day in a row.
“I’m about to check myself into the nut house,” announced one parent on Smyth County, Virginia’s Facebook page after the locality posted that schools would be closed again.
Another parent in a neighboring state made a similar complaint, stating, “OMG. I love my kids, but we’re about ready to kill each other.”
It seems that a bad case of cabin fever is sweeping across the hills of Appalachia, as single-digit temperatures and heavy snow continues to lie dormant on the ground.
So what is a parent to do when suffering from a bad case of being enclosed with their loveable, albeit restless children for multiple days in a row?
Below is a list of five things you can do to keep your sanity and your children’s… even if for only a few moments:
1. Go outside — Yes, it’s messy, cold and wet, but you’ll be pleased with the amount of energy they burn playing in the snow!
2. Go on a drive — For many, schools are closed but the roads where they live are safe. If this is the case, take a family drive and get out. Whether it’s to the local McDonalds or their grandmother’s a trip out of the house will do everyone some good… obviously, this is a bad idea if roads are unsafe.
3. Clean their bedrooms — Use the downtime as an opportunity to put them to work. Sort through toy chests and throw away broken toys or make a pile of items to donate.
4. Write letters — Have the children pen a letter to a relative or friend.
5. Watch old family VHS tapes — You’ll be amazed at how much your children will get a kick out of seeing you as a child.
6. Send your children’s teacher a thank you card — Just imagine, they experience what you’ve been experiencing on a daily basis x25.
Yes, it’s stressful being crammed into a house with two or three little people for 4-5 days straight, but be grateful for this time… it’ll be gone before you realize it!
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