School vacations and TV/computer time vs Anything else
Wondering how you parents handle school breaks and activities.
My stepdaughters arrived Tuesday morning to join us for Thanksgiving and head home Monday. My husband only had yesterday off so it's just been the kids and me. They'll be here over winter break and he has no time off then either, so this scenario will repeat but for longer in just a few weeks.
We got home from the airport at 11:30 on Tuesday. From 11:30 to 6pm, all they did was watch TV and play on the computer. I invited them to go on dog walks with me, invited them to go to the greenhouse, offered to take them out to the barn, asked them to start unpacking their rooms (new house), etc etc. Not interested.
Wednesday, we were going to make pies and cookies--something they helped with last year and enjoyed. This year? Heck, they didn't even get out of bed til 10 and then again with the TV.
Yesterday, they did take the dogs out for me while I prepared Thanksgiving dinner, but otherwise...more TV.
For today, I offered to take them downtown to meet Dad for lunch , see where he works now, and go to a museum. I offered to take them to the barn. I asked them if there was anything they wanted to do. Nothing other than wanting to go to a movie tonight. SD14 is still in bed, SD13 has taken up residence on the couch and is watching Spongebob.
There have been so many changes as of late that I don't want to harp on them to get them up and around and doing something, but I also don't want to just leave them home alone watching TV all day while I go do my own thing.
For today, I'm just going to let it roll. I haven't gotten to see my horse in a week so I'm going to head out there. (that's a 4 hour deal minimum due to drive time)
But when they are here for a couple of weeks over Christmas, ...then what?
What do you guys do?
This isn't new behavior, btw. It's just that before, I was working full time so I guess I didn't notice it as much nor was there much I could do about it.
Try taking the choice out of it.
Instead of asking how about telling? (in a friendly, excited kind of way of course). You've got to become one with the camp director mentality.
Instead of, "Hey kids, would you like to go for a walk, do lunch and then a little shopping?" which then leaves you wide open for "No, we'd rather watch tv".
You could try, "Hey kids, here is the plan for tomorrow. I'm going to wake you up at 9 a.m., we'll have breakfast - pancakes yipee- then we're going to run a few errands and go for a walk in the park with the dogs. After that, we'll drop them at home and meet with dad for lunch at his office. On the way home, I need to swing by the mall and grocery store and we'll do a little shopping. Tomorrow night is taco night. I'll show you how to make tacos and we can surprise dad with them for dinner." No discussion about it - you just made the plan for the day - period.
It is always good to give a preview and time ahead to adjust to the plan. It works well with my 6 year old at any rate!
For your longer xmas break, maybe plan several activities for the week including a day at the movie theater for an afternoon movie to at least get them out of the house. Wednesday = ice skating, Thursday = cross country skiing or sledding, Friday = bowling, Saturday = movie day, Sunday = day with you at the barn.
Give them choices of "either /or" instead of "yes or no". For example - "The weather says snow tonight, tomorrow would you like to go sledding at the big hill OR try cross country skiing on the trails? We'll leave at about 10 a.m. Breakfast at 9".