Snow days are particularly fun because school is out, and parents who take a break from work can make young children feel like life has been paused. Where there was routine and expectations there can be play, excitement and time to sit around and talk.

We all want positive change in our lives, but even positive change is stressful. Families spend more time together cooking, playing and hanging out on snow days; but that means more mess, being behind in what you could have accomplished that day, and perhaps more stress overall. To avoid this, parents may try to pretend like there is nothing special about a snow day and try to continue their routine.

One couple I saw in counseling told me they were having marital problems and no longer loved each other. “When was the last time you went on vacation together?” I asked. They looked at each other quizzically, and sheepishly said they hadn’t vacationed since their honeymoon almost a decade earlier. While I don’t know if vacations can save all marriage, it did for this family. They took a much deserved trip across the country to somewhere they had always wanted to go. They hit “pause” on life at home and took time to enjoy one another. They found out that they actually did still like each other.

Make the magic happen next time you have a snow day. Jump in your snow bibs, and ride some hills. Meet some neighbors and enjoy a couple hours of time-out. Your children will grow up with memories of you caring enough to sacrifice your regular work for some family work. If you don’t have snow in your area, or if snow is common-place then invent a new way to hit the big yellow pause button on life and share yourself with the family. Ultimately, what feels like it is putting you behind in life may actually be putting you ahead in life as you clear your head and avoid the heartbreaks of years without play.
Stanley Hall, PhD, LMFT is currently an Assistant Professor of Marriage & Family Therapy at Pfeiffer University’s Graduate School located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is both an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and licensed marriage and family therapist ... Read More