I don’t know about you, but having a plan free weekend with the kids usually spells disaster if I just go with the flow. I like to have a little flexibility with my time, but I have found that after we instituted a few ideas to help us plan more easily every week, the weekends were much more fun.
Friday Night Family Meetings
We regularly now have a family meeting every Friday where we talk about what is going on for the weekend and also what we need to get done. This a time where everyone states what they want out of the weekend and we make an effort to add the important tasks to the to do list.
Make a Plan
We map out our rough timeline on Fridays and put in all the necessary activities and figure out who is driving who, etc. Then every knows what to expect and no one is surprised. Don’t forget to add in alone time for each parent or date nights!
Add in a regular activity rotation and routines
We have family movie nights every Friday and dinner with the Grandparents every Sunday night, which makes for nice bookends to the weekend. Then there’s two activities already planned so the kids know what to expect. Our sample routine for Saturday is: pancakes for breakfast, then a bit of TV, then chores and playtime, lunch, activity, downtime, dinner or social event.
Don’t overschedule your kids
I noticed that if I planned too much for my kids, especially if they weren’t aware of the plan, they were usually much crankier. I think 2-3 activities outside of the house activities per weekend is about all my kids can handle. Try it out and see how your kids respond to different activity amounts, but playtime and downtime at home are incredibly important and valuable for any kid.
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
As I stated in the blog post, I learned that having the thought that it was my job to make everyone happy, was not helping my stress level. On Sunday nights, my daughter would say to me “I didn’t have any fun this weekend” after all my efforts to provide opportunities for fun. It was infuriating! So, now I just let her feel that way and don’t take it personally. Additionally, lowering my expectations of how our weekend would go also has helped my stress level immensely. I stopped forcing them to do what I wanted them to do, and made it more of a team effort by including them in planning. Giving your kids choices is empowering for them and makes your life much better in the end.
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