A Parenting Strategy That Gets Everyone Involved: Weekend Wishes
I'm certainly no parenting expert but when things do go well, I try to notice. When they go well several times in a row, I try to remember and repeat. Weekend Wishes is a strategy that seems to work well for us at this stage, with a four- and six-year-old.
Here's how it works. At the beginning of the weekend (often over breakfast on Saturday morning) I grab a pen and piece of paper and ask everyone for their weekend wishes. I write down everyone's wishes with their names beside them. Everyone gets to contribute, including the parents, and everything gets written down. We all know that these are just wishes, so they may or may not come true, but will be taken into consideration. We try our best to grant at least one of each family member's wishes over the course of the weekend.
Jamie and I are usually pretty predictable. He often requests a run and I often wish for a yoga class. He might also want some solo time to work on a guitar project, and I might want some time to myself to read, write, or bake. The kids' wishes vary much more from week to week. They range from simple things like "get an ice cream cone" or "go to the park" to more elaborate activities like "go swimming". The most unusual request we've gotten so far was "go to space". Gotta love a 4-year-old's ability to think big! Although that wish hasn't come true (yet), we did get some library books about space, which he was thrilled about!
I love the simplicity of weekend wishes and how it gives everyone a chance to contribute and influence how we spend our time. We can't let our kids run the house but they really appreciate having a say in the family plans. This also helps to make sure that each grown-up gets at least one activity of their choosing during the weekend, which is equally important!
If you live with other humans, how do you manage everyone's wants and needs during your free time? It can be tricky to strike a balance and we don't always achieve that, but starting our weekend with a wish list certainly helps!
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