Our first winter storm of the year is predicted to begin this evening.  The guys are rushing to finish work on our new roof, ahead of the rain-changing-to-snow. The gals are heading to town for necessities in case we can’t get out for a few days. 

Thanks to Weatherbug, we get a pretty good prediction of coming patterns days in advance, as our rural life is so weather-dependent.  We have  learned to predict weather changes ourselves, watching the livestock for their signs of hunkering down, eating more to put on a heavier fat layer, and piling up dirt or old hay for bedding in their sheds.  We can also tell by the changing leaves, dying vines, and more frequent wind, that the cold and snow are approaching.

We keep a good stock of food, feed, water, and emergency supplies in case of power failure.  During the last few weeks I got out all the space heaters, electric and wool blankets, flannel sheets, and winter coats, gloves, and hats.  The firewood is cut and stacked. We are ready for this storm, and hopefully any others that come through the long winter ahead.

Adoptive parents need to be able to predict changing weather in their children’s behavior patterns.  Storms can mean a total shutdown ‘freeze’, or worse, is the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ instincts that kick in when children are unable to cope.  Signs for impending bad weather in our home include an increase in ‘alone’ time, sassy responses, lack of eye contact, bedwetting, sneaky behavior, lying, stealing, and a host of other red flag storm warnings. 

When the ‘weather’ starts to change for the worse in our home, it is time for action.  As parents, we need to make sure we:

  • have stocked up on the essentials of daily devotions, couple time, and family time
  • are providing a warm, secure home with a calm, steady daily routine
  • get back on course with schedules and routines
  • remain calm and patient as the clouds are gathering
  • keep a cheerful disposition in the adverse wind
  • be consistent in dealing with the damage
  • set a Christ-like example regardless of the weather

 The ‘power outage’ storms of running away, violent acting out, or complete comatose breakdown need to be averted, if possible, as they wreak heavy damage and require significant recovery. 

Parents may want to delay dealing with a child’s inappropriate behaviors until the storm has passed.  There is no point trying to lecture and correct during a ‘blizzard’ of overwhelming negative and unsafe behavior. Instead, the family may need to wait out the storm by cuddling in front of the fire with a good book.  Later, when sunny skies have returned, parent and child can discuss what happened, and what needs to change so it won’t happen again.  Prayer, repentance, and forgiveness should follow as essentials during the storm clean-up and repair.

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