The secret to a great Spring Break
Spending a week of #RealTime together can be a test for any family. Whether you are heading out on vacation or staying at home, there is a great tool that every family can use to set themselves up for success.
Find time to make a plan
Some families feel that planning and vacations do not go hand in hand. Over the past 15 years, we’ve heard from families who feel that way and also dread the arguments that seem to go hand in hand with vacations. If you argue over the same stuff every time, planning is a way to change that situation.
Find time to sit down with the family before the holiday starts. Create a small agenda of the key areas that make sense for your family so that you can keep the meeting short and sweet.
“We are meeting now so that we are not nagging you during the vacation, it will make it easier on all of us.”
The agenda can include any of the areas that are a typical source of frustration for your family. Getting clear on the expectations and consequences before you go can make things more simple all around.
Here are some areas to consider:
Bedtime: Who is sleeping where, what time is bedtime, what does the bedtime routine look like if you are away from home?
Wake time: Are you okay if your teens sleep until noon? Do you want your little ones up at 5 am? Get clear and let kids know what they are allowed/expected to do if they wake up while others still want to sleep.
Screen use: This is for adults and kids. Decide where, when and how much time can be spent on screens in a day. Use natural consequences: “Looks like you’re having trouble limiting your time today. I’ll hold onto your phone for now and you can try again tomorrow.”
Food: How many ‘treats’ per day?
Spending money: Do kids have their own money? Can they buy whatever they want?
Sunscreen: Who puts it on? How much? How often? Consequences?
Pool: How often? How long? What happens with wet swimsuits?
Freedom: When do teens get to hang out on their own? When must they stay with you? Does each family member get a say in the day’s activities?
Responsibility: Who is carrying what? If you are staying home, who is in charge of cooking meals, taking out garbage and feeding the pet?
This week, ask yourself these questions:
Does your family have some regular Spring Break argument scripts?
What areas can you plan for so that you don’t have to repeat the nagging and unpleasantness?
What do your kids wish would happen on vacation that doesn’t ever seem to happen? Is there time for it this trip? Let them know ahead of time.
If you are working over Spring Break, get clear about when you can create #RealTime to connect with your kids. Maybe there’s an opportunity for another #NoPhoneDay, or perhaps its a build your own pizza night. Whatever you choose, set everyone up for success. Let them know the expectations and consequences and get the kids involved in the planning. Have a wonderful Spring Break!