Yes that’s what we’d all like our holidays to look like, but in reality? With kids? I don’t think so!! When the kids are little you get 5am wake ups and start you ‘restful’ weekend or holiday day with a Peppa Pig marathon just to keep them quiet, progressing on to hours at the park or soft play to try and wear them out before collapsing with exhaustion yourself and falling asleep half way through a film at 8.30pm! When the kids get older you get a brief few years where they sleep until a sensible time, get up and make their own breakfasts leaving you to have a lie in and manage to entertain themselves for at least a portion of the day, especially if you are in those magic years where they will play out with their friends. Then comes the tween and teen years where you can’t drag them out of their beds at all. You remember those 5am wake ups and feel you should now be celebrating, but it can be a pain, especially if you want to actually go somewhere and make the most of the day. Dragging them out of bed, waiting for teenage girls to spend an hour putting make up on (just for a trip to the supermarket) or for teenage boys to finish quaffing their hair into the latest style, all the time moaning and groaning about having to do something, anything at all!
Oh isn’t it fun!
I had an awful few weekends and decided to take action. It was lovely that the girls were spending hours in the morning watching You Tube in their rooms, lounging in bed. I thought it was good that they should have some relaxation time, after all, that was what I was longing to do. I was having a lovely time too, doing my own thing, getting time for my hobbies. Until we actually had to go out. Then trying to get them out of bed, dressed and interested in what we had planned was harder than getting blood from a stone. All that happened was we would argue, fall out and end up grumpy. Not what I had in mind for my weekends and holidays.
So I made a plan, I’d seen these on Pinterest and thought, hmm, nice idea, but is it really necessary? Can’t kids just spend their holidays just doing what they want? And if doing what they want means spending all morning on You Tube is it really that bad? No one moaned when they were watching back to back CBeebies, or when we watched Going Live all Saturday morning!!
But after creating my own, watered down version, my life was transformed! The rules were that you could sleep in until whatever time you wanted (within reason) but as soon they were awake they had to get up, get dressed and have breakfast just like on a school day. After they were ready for the day, they could chose to do whatever they wanted, they could go back to bed if they wanted and play on their devices, they could go out to play, do crafts, watch TV, play outside. Or if we had plans, we could get on an enjoy them without the stress of dragging them away from the ipods and phones.
You can adapt this in any way you want, the list of what has to be done before devices/TV are allowed can be short, or long, whichever suits your family. We decided it didn’t matter what order our things happened in but you might like to change that. We have a daily plan because Holly is autistic and needs structure, most households wouldn’t need that (although it does really help, I’d highly recommend it!)
It took a few days to get used to, it took a lot of work on my part to start with, but after day 3 it started to really work. We were able to get out of the house easier and calmer to do the things we had planned and the girls were happy as they were still getting time to play on their devices, and happier that there was a little bit more structure to the day.
I made mine on Red Stamp and any graphics/photo app will do a similar thing. I’d love to see your ideas, so please share over on the facebook group!