As I was excited/dreading the impending snow storm yesterday, I realized I should ask resident parenting expert Meghan Leahy during her live chat how to tackle a few days stuck inside a house with kids during this blizzard. I mean, we all love each other and have fun with each other. But any family stuck inside the house for a few days with each other could have problems, right?

The mother of three girls, with a husband whose job it is to clear roads of snow, Leahy is always the solo snow parent. Knowing what she knows, here is her advice.

Here’s hoping the house has power and everyone stays safe. Try to enjoy!


Q: Amy Joyce: Okay, Meghan. This one is from me. What advice do you have when folks are stuck inside with a blizzard raging outdoors? (I mean, after playing outside, of course.) What activities do you and your girls do? What advice do you have so when we’re all climbing the walls we don’t kill each other?



Get ready to bake with the kids.

Get the snacks ready.

Find the movies and the fun games.

Drag out the stuff that makes a mess that you never allow.

Decide to not freak out about crap all over the floor.

Decide to run in the snow with the kids and have fun.

Segment the day into AM (playing, seeing neighbors) and PM, lunch, maybe out again for a bit, then quiet movie time, etc. Make it work for your family.

Have some neighbors and their parents over for chili. Don’t apologize for the mess.

It’s okay to have the x-box, wii, tablets on a little more. And it is okay to ignore the kids, Netflix and chill for a bit. No one will die.

Have a family meeting to decide who wants to do what, how, why, where, and when. Put stuff in writing.

Essentially, have fun and keep some boundaries.

And keep reminding yourself: THE SNOW WILL MELT.

If you yell, say sorry.

Give yourself lots of timeouts.

Keep your sense of humor.

Call your friend to complain (out of earshot of the children).

Good luck. WE WILL MAKE IT.


I am on my way to prepared. With two active boys, 8 and 6, we have our snow shovels out, sleds ready, phones charged, birdhouses to paint, crafts to make a mess with and some baking to do. I also hopefully have a book or two on my own table, beckoning. I plan to carve out time for that, too. How about you?

(For one thing, check out On Parenting on Facebook or at We have a few good pieces coming up, including one about how to find joy in the bleak winter. And follow Meghan Leahy on Facebook for more great tips and insights and laughs from her.)

You may also be interested in: