Weekends are great. Everyone needs a little downtime and weekends can fill that need. But, weekends can also be duds. They can either be overly packed, making them stressful or they can be overly boring, making them ripe for hours in front of the TV or computer. Use these 5 tips to make your family weekend meaningful.
1. Plan ahead.
Meaningful weekends don’t just happen. Sure, you want to be spontaneous and not plan out every minute, but if you don’t have some idea of how you want your weekend to unfold, it might just turn into a lackluster collection of hours.
Sometime toward the end of the week, look at what you have on your family calendar for the weekend. Next, decide ahead of time how many hours/minutes you’ll allow for your children’s screen time. If you don’t, it will be their go-to when they get bored, and by the end of the weekend, they’ll have spent hours online or gaming.
2. You can say no.
Okay, there are some things are planned for you – sports schedules, musical recitals, and birthday parties. But even though those things seem like “must-dos”—they’re not. You have the final say. So if there’s just too much going on, cut something out, even if it means telling your parents you can’t come over for lunch on Sunday, or telling your children they can’t go to both birthday parties they’re invited to on Saturday.
3. Schedule family time.
Some families just gravitate together naturally. If yours doesn’t, schedule your family time. You don’t have to make a big deal about it and announce it to everyone but talk to your husband ahead of time about what you can do as a family. Maybe it’s movie night at home with popcorn on Friday. You could do a family board game, take a family walk or hike, or even do a family craft. Be sure there’s at least an hour or two of your weekend when you’re all together.
4. Create a Family Meal Plan.
Make it fun by doing a theme meal, or maybe a big breakfast with pancakes, cinnamon rolls or something else that’s not part of your Monday-Friday breakfast. Eating together on the weekend is sometimes more doable than weekday meals, so take advantage of sitting down together. You can use some of our TALK Family Conversation Starters to add another connection dimension.
5. Have back up.
Have a few tricks up your sleeve for when you hear the dreaded “I’m bored!” Our I’m Bored Jar Printable has lots of ideas for banning boredom. Also have craft supplies like paper, colored pencils, and glue on hand. And don’t be afraid to tell your kids to go outside and play or to play together with a board game, not a computer.
What is your plan for this weekend?