Good Life

Don’t let the dreary winter weather keep a family down

It happens every year; we’re all excited about the holiday season — no work, no school, eating, laughing, hanging out with friends and family ... and then BOOM! The holiday stops on a dime, and we find ourselves back in the same old grind. With bills to pay and a long, cold, vacationless winter staring us in the face, it’s understandable that we become a bit more down and crabby at this time of year. I’d like to challenge fathers (including my crabby self) to set a different tone and show our kids how to fight through the New Year’s blues.

Action ideas

u Lead by example in trying to stay positive. Show your kids firsthand how to make the most of a difficult time. As you’re commenting on your tough day at work or the freezing cold weather, look for a positive comment or two to sprinkle in. Our kids feed off of our positive attitude.

u Plan fun events in January. With summer vacations so far away, plan something exciting in January to give your kids something to look forward to sooner. Whether it’s a play, a basketball game, or an inside playground — a fun winter outing can help wipe away the blues. Who knows … maybe this will turn out to be a new “January family tradition”?

u Build in physical activity. It’s common this time of year to become more of a couch potato. Build into your winter routine some family trips to an open gym and walks around the neighborhood. Being active gets the blood flowing and can be a real pick-me-up!

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and children. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact Mick Trombley at mick@apartmentstore.com, David Eggebeen at e5x@psu.edu, Robert Orndorff at rmo104@psu.edu, or Marc McCann at 237-1719 or marc@thesecondmile.org.

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