parent tips snow sick days

Parent Tips for SLC Snow or Sick Days

December 12, 2022
Parent Tips for SLC Snow or Sick Days

As we head quickly into the dead of the Utah winter, one reality that many parents of young children who attend school or child care programs will have to face is the possibility of winter events like snow days or child sick days. These may at first seem like a major disruption to your schedule and an annoyance, but they're simply part of the program with children of that age - and with the right basic preparations, such events will be no problem to manage. 

At First Steps Childcare & Preschool, we're happy to work with parents for numerous important parts of their children's care in Salt Lake City and nearby areas. We provide regular parent information for all our infant, preschool and kindergarten programs, including classroom schedules and timely updates for any potential snow days. Whether it's a snow day or a day where your child is sick and you have to alter your schedule to care for them, here are some general tips we offer to parents on managing these kinds of winter events.

Don't Show Frustration to Your Kids

While we understand that busy parents won't necessarily love their planned day being interrupted by a weather or sickness event, it's important to remember not to show frustration or anger towards your children. Instead, try to keep a positive attitude and make the day positive for them.

It's important to remember that these kinds of events are not your child's fault, and you should never blame them for the disruption it has caused in your day. And for many younger children, even if your frustration is actually directed at other sources (such as Mother Nature for dropping a massive snowstorm at the wrong time), your child may still interpret it as being their fault. So take care with your attitude and try to make the best of the situation - a snow day is always an opportunity for extra fun!

Plan Ahead For Child Sick Days

Though nobody likes thinking about it, sometimes children will get sick during winter months, often leading to sick days. This is significantly more common in winter than in other seasons, and it can create a sense of disruption in your usual patterns.

To best prepare for this eventuality, make sure to have sick days already accounted for in your own schedule. If you know that you will need to take some time away from work or other duties on short notice if your child gets ill, arrange to do so so that you can meet their care needs without extra stress.

Set a New Day Schedule

Once you've accepted that your day is going to be interrupted and you've managed to take a positive attitude towards it, the next step is to set a new day schedule. This can come in several forms - for example, if you have an extra snow day on your hands, plan out fun activities like making paper snowflakes or baking cookies for everyone to enjoy. If your child is sick and needs care, make sure to take a break and relax in between meeting their needs for nourishment, comfort and cleanliness.

No matter the circumstance of your winter event day, you can turn it into a positive experience if you plan ahead, remain positive and flexible in your approach, and make sure to focus on setting up enjoyable activities for everyone involved. Be sure to include some flexibility in this schedule as well, since you never know when an unexpected event or surprise may arise!

Be Sure Your Child Understands This is Not Vacation

There are definitely cases where a snow day can seem like a kind of vacation for everyone, and children especially may be tempted to think that way. But it's important to remind your child that this is not a vacation, and there will still be expectations for them in terms of activities and staying on schedule, just as if it were any other day.

This is even more important for child sick days, especially once children reach an age where they can be more aware of their own illness and the impact it has on their daily lives. Make sure to remind your child that you understand what they're feeling, but that there are still expectations for them in terms of completing household tasks, behaving responsibly and showing care for others in the family. You also want to get a head start on preventing children from "faking" illness as they learn that sick days can be an occasional excuse for a break in routine.

Be Flexible

As the day goes on, you never know what kind of surprises may come up. The best thing you can do is stay flexible and be prepared to adjust your schedule if the situation calls for it. This could mean making changes in activities or taking some extra time to rest, or whatever else happens to come up.

You are the master of your own winter event days and you want to make sure you make the most out of them. By staying flexible, positive and organized, your winter event days will be as smooth and enjoyable as possible, no matter what comes up!

For more on how parents should go about managing winter events like child snow days or sick days, or to learn about any of our educational or child care programs in SLC or nearby parts of Utah, speak to our team at First Steps Childcare & Preschool today.

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