We were finally hit with our first big snowfall, and my kids are loving it! My 3-year-old loves it most of all. He can’t wait to climb to the center of the Arctic Circle in our back yard, hop on his sled and then glide downwards like a bolt of lightning.
If you have young children who love snow, you know that the process of getting them properly dressed for the Arctic-like elements is no simple task. Yet, if they are going to enjoy their time out in the snow, it is well worth it to apply the proper protection. In our house, no one is permitted out the door unless they have at least three layers of clothing on including: socks, shirts, and pants. Also, they are required to have on a snow suit, a hat, scarf, thick gloves and boots. Once they are completely suited up, you could bounce a quarter off of one of their well-cushioned bodies, and it would travel clear across the room.
When I think about getting ready for the new year, it’s much like getting suited up to brave the cold winter elements, only the preparation work consists of getting our minds rather than keeping our bodies protected. The idea of suiting up for what’s around the corner should not be taken lightly. You and I have to do more than hope that our children will succeed and make good choices, we have to be their guide. Being a young child’s guide does not equate to being their friend!
If you’ve ever watched the first film in the Nanny McPhee series, she explains to the children that: when they don’t want her, but need her, she will remain with them. But, once they no longer need her, but want her, she will have to go! It’s similar to the job of raising and training our children for the day that they will leave the nest and live on their own. Our children often don’t want our input and guidance, and in an effort to be “cool parents,” we sometimes allow them more freedom than they can handle, leading the way for new troubles to enter the picture!
Our children need to know that being their buddy is not our role or obligation as parents. Instead, we have as our primary obligation to train them to be productive, respectful people, and also, to protect them from anyone or anything that could cause them harm. One of the very first lessons children need to be taught once they are old enough to understand is the importance of following rules and guidelines that are in place for their own good and protection. If they, for example, decide to remain out in the snow without the proper protection, they will freeze and cause damage to their skin.
The same occurs when our children are not covered by parental protection. There is usually a cost to not holding each child closely under our parental wings. In the true Arctic, the baby polar bears literally follow their mother’s every move because they know that they can not survive without her. Also, the mother polar bear, not only diligently watches over her cubs, she would not think twice about standing in front of them and protecting them from danger even if it meant sacrificing her own life to save them from predators. Our cubs too, are in need of the same type of protection even when they seem to be doing fine on their own. The ice is often thin and though out of sight, predators are never far off. They prowl around in search of stealing the innocence of our children when they are left standing alone.
As we suit our children up each day to brave the elements, know that every child will be in need of his or her own custom suit of protection. This is because we are all prone to very different weaknesses and lures. So, put your parental knowledge to work in this new year. Before you go out and brave the elements, make sure that everyone is covered with plenty of protection so that your children will be trained to find victory in the year to come in whatever battles or snow storms come their way! Happy New Year!