Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Family Challenge: F is for Family First (Getting Everyone on the Calendar!)

Hooray! It's almost the weekend! I am thrilled because we don't have too much on our plates this weekend (compared to usual), and of course I get to see my husband! These days he's working hard on his MBA, and on top of a full time job it takes up a lot of his time. The weekend is always a special treat. Not to mention that he usually gets up with our daughter on Saturday mornings so that I can sleep until 8am or so. Such an awesome guy!

With a busy family schedule, it's crucially important to make sure there is room for everyone on the calendar. I'm not just talking about getting Susie to Brownies or Johnny to soccer practice. It's really important to spend quality time as a family doing the things that interest each of you. These days, things get so busy with school events, sports, meetings, and work that the only time some families spend together is slumped exhausted in front of the television for the 30 minutes before bed. I know that sounds familiar for my house!


www.cozi.com

 Today's Fall Family Challenge is getting a special activity on the calendar for each and every one of your family members to do together as a family. This is huge in understanding your child's personality development and in family bonding.

It's really simple. Sit down with a calendar and explain to your family that everyone is going to pick a special activity, and that the whole family is going to be involved in partaking in the fun. And make it exciting! Say "It's Jonah's Day! He's the leader today!" Explain to your kids that there are also rules:

Rules:
1. Nobody complains about the special activity that any person picks. It's their day!
2. Special activities have to be within reason.

You might be surprised by the ideas for activities that your kids come up with! Before giving them some ideas, ask them if there is anywhere they would like to go or anything that they would like to try as a family. Some examples might be any of the following:

1. Go to a pumpkin patch
2. Go to a museum
3. Go to the zoo
4. Learning how to ice skate
5. Painting something at a pottery studio

The options really are endless, and you might just find that your kids come up with better ideas than you'd have thought they would!

What you do doesn't have to be fancy or costly. Don't discourage your children's ideas. If your child says they want to take the dog for a walk at the park, don't tell them that it doesn't count because it's something that is done often by one or more family member. Your child is associating the walk at the park with a special family activity, and it's important to fulfill that wish for a family walk. In time, if you continue to do this with your child, they will begin to realize that you are giving them the opportunity to do something extra special that may include more than just a dog walk.

Mom and dad get special activities too! Just remember not to be greedy. For most of us, our children are already toted along to a bunch of activities that they may or may not really want to be at with us. The grocery store, the mall, Great Aunt Gertrude's house... A special activity might include getting a family portrait done or enjoying an argument free car ride to see some beautiful fall foliage.

Make your child's day extra special by letting them pick out where or what to eat for dinner, which exhibits you see at the museum first, or which way to walk around the park. These little things will mean a lot to your child and will go a long ways!

This is a wonderful challenge for discovering how alike and how different your kids are! Enjoy!

Programs like Cozi can help you keep track of your family's schedule is an easy an organized manner online. Make sure you check them out!

The Fall Family Challenge by Holly at Nap Time is designed to encourage families to do activities together and learn at the same time. There are no rules, no wrongs, no rights - just family fun!


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