Weekends are great. There is no doubt that all of us wishes for a longer weekend. Everyone needs a little down time and weekends can fill that need.
Use these five 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 common collection of hours.
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 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 too on Saturday.
3. Schedule family time
Some families just got attached 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 attainable than weekday meals, so take advantage of sitting down together.
5. Have back up
Have a few tricks up your sleeve for when you hear the the words “I’m bored!” and start banning boredom by using your creativity. 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.