|Photo of St Kilda beach, not near my house, |
and not taken yesterday. Similar weather though.
In my house some havoc reigned as well, albeit not as serious as those houses which suffered damage- not to make light of that by any means. The kids were unsettled all day, and a little freaked out at night-time when the winds picked up and we put the dog outside. M was frightened poor Harry would "get blown away", and while I assured her that could never happen, it did give me pause for our fluffy little guy for a moment.
|Harry attends to the call of the mild|
(He was fine, if a little alarmed).
Today I noticed this post from No Excuses! which grabbed my attention thusly:
"When ever there is gale forced winds, children (and animals too) tend to play up big time. They are rowdy, psycho, loud, full of energy and just constantly on the go (more so than normal). To sum it up in one word they are WILD."
This reminded me that my cousin - who has had kids a bit longer than me and is a wise and practical mum - has always said the same thing, that kids turn rowdy in windy weather. And that, subsequent to her pointing it out, I had noticed the same thing myself. At least I think I have.
Intrigued, I hit Google with "kids behaviour and windy weather" and found quite a bit:
- From the UK Daily Mail, an article from April 2011, "Strike-hit school Governor blames pupil anarchy ... on wind and rain"
- From a Montessori pre-school in Maine, USA, a blog post from October 2011, "Windy Days at School" - which includes this lovely line: "After 5 years of observing children’s behavior I can accurately report windy days= silly days, even in a Montessori classroom"
- a post on the blog of the author of What to Expect When You're Expecting, from August 2011, "Child Behaviour Problems: Rain, Rain Go Away". This post refers to "hot, dry and windy" weather and to a book which posits that "wind can make people psychologically unsettled because it changes the ion content of the air which in turn can effect blood pressure, allergies and a whole host of physical systems "
- Discussion forums on ABC Online, where one person posits that wind represents "tactile, auditory and visual stimulation" and many report the same impact on horses galloping in paddocks on windy days
- Discussion forum on Yahoo Answers, where the best answer referred to ions and chemicals impacting behaviour, and also (I like this a lot): "it is possible that truly windy days bring forth excitement from the child- i am a young adult and the strong winds excite me still as it is unusual and partially scary watching trees bend in odd ways. it may simply be a release of adrenalin"
- Discussion forums on parenting blogs such as Essential Baby
- Personal blog posts by parents, such as this one
So what to think, what to think? Is this a real thing? Or is it a myth, as most serious studies infer is the belief that the full moon influences behavior? (I know many, many people swear it does, but I admit I am not a believer on this one).
Does it sit in myth-busted but much contested territory like the idea that sugar causes kids to be hyperactive?
I am conflicted on some of these beliefs. On the one hand as a respecter of science, I'm not keen to argue with empirical evidence, and you have to listen when multiple studies show no valid causation link. On the other hand, it irks me when the real-world, long-term and consistent experience of mothers and teachers is dismissed out of hand because someone can't replicate it in a lab. That, I believe, happens a little too often.
Does the weather (especially wind) influence behaviour?
|Thank you, Microsoft clipart. Not a red setter but close enough.|
So I relate to the Best Answer poster in Yahoo Answers and also to the poster on the ABC Science thread who wrote "I'm like a pixie on speed on a windy day".
What about my kids? Well, yesterday on our gusty Melbourne day my kids were a handful, but can I blame the wild windy weather?
A lot had gone on in our house of late. In the last 3 months, the kids have been on an overseas odyssey, I've broken my arm, our work and school routines have changed, and the kids have experienced some of the usual but upsetting schoolyard dramas that inhabit the world of girls.
This past week I had an operation to pin my arm and then was sick. Yesterday was my first day back working (from home thankfully), and it coincided with the Victorian teachers' strike which meant the kids were home too. My mother was on hand to manage the kids so I could work, but it was a strange day. The kids were unsettled and were not used to having me up and about. I had just resurfaced from a weird lost week that began with an operation and two days of drugged-out (blissful) recovery, followed by 3 days of illness, which took me out of our family's action for 6 strange, bedridden days. The upheaval to our family life had left all of us tired and unsettled.
So... we are a long way from a controlled experiment into the weather's impact on kids' behaviour at my place. But I'm not ruling it out.
What about you? Does the wind affect you or your kids? Tell me a story!