Rainy days are the perfect time to mindfully give your child a gift that will last them a lifetime-- a sunny outlook on life!
Life has its ups and downs. We can't even predict what challenges our children will face in their lives, but we can rest unassured that there will be challenges. There will be dark days. There will be sadness. It hurts my heart to even think about it.
As we raise children to be resilient and able to cope with the challenges life throws at them, teaching them to roll with the punches, see the silver linings, and look at the glass half full will help them through the challenges they will inevitably encounter.
Rainy days give us simple ingredients for this life lesson. In Boston, we receive an average of 137 days with precipitation. That's 137 chances to teach our children to look on the bright side of a situation!
When I taught second grade, I greeted the children every day by saying, "Good morning, scholars. It's a beautiful day!" The stormier the weather, the greater my emphasis on just how beautiful a day it was.
In the beginning of the year, my students would say, "No, it's not, it's raining!" But after time, they knew a beautiful day comes from within-- we have the capacity to make a day beautiful, even when it's dark and stormy around us.
I knew that my students would each face times in their lives when a positive outlook would help them cope with a challenging obstacle. (I also knew that my attendance went way down on rainy days!!) When adults change their mindset about a rainy day, children pick up on it. They learn by listening to us and observing us, so it's up to us to shift the way we think and act.
"Too bad it's rainy today."
"I hate rain."
"We're going to get soaking wet."
"This weather makes me tired."
"All the playground equipment is wet."
"It's dark and gloomy."
"I just want to lay in bed all day."
Does this sound like you? Try this instead:
"It's rainy today! :)"
"The plants really need this drink of water!"
"We get to wear our rain boots today!"
"The rain will wake up those tired flowers!"
"The slide will be extra fast today!"
"The sky looks majestic!"
"Let's go out and splash in the puddles!"
If you need a little outside help changing your mindset, there are many amazing children's book authors who have taken on the task of teaching this lesson through their stories. I've chosen a few of our recent favorites to share with you.
Cozying up with your children and one of these inspiring books from the comfort of your dry home will give you just the motivation you need to go out and play, looking at the puddles as opportunities, not obstacles.
(Click on the book titles beneath the photos to purchase through an affiliate link.)
This Beautiful Day
By Richard Jackson, illustrated by Suzy Lee
Come on, Rain!
By Karen Hesse, Illustrated by Jon J. Muth
Are You Ready to Play Outside?
By Mo Willems
By Tim McCanna, Illustrated by Richard Smythe
If you're looking for your own inspiring read, I wholeheartedly recommend the inspiring, entertaining, and well-research book There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda McGurk. You can read my recommendation here.
One suggestion I have for outdoor play is to always be prepared for the weather. The Swedish saying goes, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only a bad selection of clothing." We've had great experiences with Jan and Jun/Twinklebelle brand rain gear (pictured in the photo above). The inside of our rain jacket says, "Play on, rain or shine!" You can find this company on Amazon, but if you purchase through their website, you can receive 10% off using the code wikebaby1019. If you always have your rain gear ready, there's no excuse not to go out and play!
Developing a sunny disposition is a gift we can give our children that lasts a lifetime, and it doesn't cost a thing! What do you do to teach your child to look at the bright side?