Weekends with the kids

Make the most of your weekends with our top tips on enjoying your precious free time.

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  • Weekends with the kids

    Here's how to make the most of your weekends  with our top tips on enjoying your precious free time. 

    Psychologist and parent coach Dr Jenny Leonard says: ‘It’s very difficult to get the right balance at the weekend if you have young children. It can seem impossible to find any time for yourself when you’re fitting it in around the children and looking after the home. To get the right balance you need to be organised and decide what’s really important.’

  • Weekends with the kids

    Prioritise

    Decide what’s really important for you to achieve at the weekend. Make a list of the top three things to do in order of priority. If you’ve achieved one, with little children in tow, you’re doing well.

  • Weekends with the kids

    Make housework fun

    Toddlers love wielding a duster or mop around the kitchen, washing the car, or weeding the garden. Make the chores part of the time you spend together. It doesn’t matter if they slop about with the mop or it takes longer to get things done. Give him plenty of praise as he helps you – it’s great for his self-esteem.

  • Weekends with the kids

    Shop smart

    Don't waste family time in the supermarket. Avoid packed supermarkets by doing a big shop one weekday evening, or shopping online.

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  • Weekends with the kids

    Plan family time

    Whether it’s eating meals together, going to the park, swimming or just reading at home, make sure you spend some time together as a family.

    Don’t spoil your children

    Spending family time together is what’s important, not lavishing presents on your little ones. If you habitually indulge your kids you’re heading down a slippery slope.

  • Weekends with the kids

    Make time for yourself

    Want to go to the gym, have a manicure, go out with the girls, or look round the shops? Book your ‘me time’ in your diary, and don’t feel guilty. It’s important to recharge your batteries.

  • Weekends with the kids

    Give and take with your partner

    Arrange your weekends so you both get time to do things you enjoy. Maybe he wants to play football on Sunday, and you want to have a lie-in on Saturday.

    If you have to work at the weekends, let your partner take the strain and don’t feel guilty. Remember you’re doing the best you can. Research shows pre-school children who spend time with their dads are more sociable by the time they start school.

    If you’re on your own, team up with other single parents and take turns giving each other some time off!


  • Weekends with the kids

    Day Trips Out

    Plan for a slower pace than usual and be realistic about what you can cover with little ones in tow. The less you feel you have to pack in, the more enjoyable and stress-free your trip will be. Be prepared by packing a bag the night before with all the child essentials you might need for your trip.

Last updated on 6 August 2008

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