Parenting Issue – Keeping Sane When Riding Out the Storm

When the kids get too antsy or irritating, send them outside to play.  This is a parenting decision that has probably kept most of us off of the evening news.  However, when it comes time for Mother Nature to stir up some weather, what to do with the kids becomes a parenting issue that we have to deal with in order to stay off of the evening news.  (Well, other than when the reporters come through your neighborhood to survey the damage, of course.)

This is a parenting issue I’m more familiar with than I’d like… from both the perspective of the parent and the child.  I survived 23 hurricane seasons in Florida and I’m on my eleventh winter in British Columbia.  (Not the nice and Seattle-like part to the south.  I live in the center of the province.  We get lots of snow and cold temperatures that are too dangerous for outside play.)

Preparing for natural disaster and incliment weather with your childrenQuite simply put, it sucks.  On top of the added stress of damage and/or clean up, there’s the irritation of children who are going insane in the house.

Preparing for no power?  Keep your board games handy.  You may end up playing Chutes & Ladders until you’re ready to scream, but it beats bouncing off the walls.  Be prepared to read the same book over and over again.  After all, this isn’t just stressful for you.  It’s a big disruption to them, too.  Try to treat it more as an adventure than a source of terror.  Camp out in the living room.  Make a fort with the couch cushions and blankets.  Even if your children are well past the age of diapers, have some baby wipes and Purell on hand for clean up.  This is especially useful if you decide to distract them with any messy activities like finger painting.

Really, parents keeping upbeat can make it much less jarring for the children, which can make it easier for everyone.  I remember being woke up by firemen banging on our door in the middle of the night to do mandatory evacuations when I was a little girl.  Hurricane Elena was coming and we were in a flood zone; we had to get out.  Had it not been for my parents having a place to go and being ready to pack bags in a hurry, it might have been far more frightening for me instead of the adventure that it was.  But my parents’ method of handling that particular parenting issue made me feel safer then and helped me know how I need to handle natural disasters now.

Are you prepared?

My thoughts are with those on the eastern seaboard.  So far, my friends and family are safe, but I’m still waiting to hear from others.  Thank goodness for Facebook!

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links.  Should you purchase from one of those links, I receive a small commision that is used to support Cloth Diaper Addicts.

Image by worradmu /

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. We are far enough north-east of the storm to have not been affected too much. Been watching CNN and others were not so lucky. We were prepared. After experiencing the ice storm we have learned to be prepared.

  2. These are wonderful suggestions. Sometimes I think it’s easy to forget the kid’s perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I know the feeling. We are either riding out hurricanes, tornadoes or snow storms and blizzards. Its crazy and the kids will drive you nuts.

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