Now…I will freely admit that my family is probably not a great example of having a bunch of weekend rituals, with the exception of going to church on Sunday morning. Saturday morning might be an opportunity for us to catch up on some chores around the house. As you may know from previous posts we moved a few months ago so there’s still projects to work on. So.many.projects.
Because this can get overwhelming, we try to save those kinds of things for Saturdays, especially if it’s something our son can help with. He personally enjoys doing a little demolition…many kids do, I think. In fact, we had to rip up damaged flooring a few months ago, and our tenacious little worker bee probably ripped up 3/4 of it himself. And even though it was a great opportunity, I pray we don’t ever have to do that again!
This demolition exercise (as well as others) have provided another opportunity for bonding and connection, as well as allowing him to exercise his muscles through heavy lifting, and possibly even learning a new skill. I realize he’s only eight, but as many of you have probably witnessed as well, in spite of having trauma, many children in our care are very bright and eager to learn. While traditional school subjects are not always his favorite, our son does love to learn new things so if we can find that opportunity consistently, we want to do that for him.
So even though we don’t get to household projects every week, we do on many weekends. But I realize that this might not be a great example or suggestion for most of you. Instead, maybe it looks like one parent (if it is a two-parent home) takes the kids out for donuts (which honestly I don’t love this idea because my kiddo get enough sugar and this honestly wouldn’t help!) and lets the other parent sleep in. But it wouldn’t have to be donuts…it can be doing the grocery shopping or doing another errand. (In my house, it might be making a trip to the hardware store…who doesn’t love a trip around Rural King, with that free popcorn to boot?)
Another suggestion: maybe there are grandparents or other family friends who can keep the kids overnight once a month. That sounds like a treat for everyone! True…it would not be an every-weekend ritual but maybe a monthly week-end one!
When I was a child (and I’m dating myself by saying this, so please don’t judge) but Saturday morning cartoons were THE ritual in our house. Not many other back-to-back cartoons were on except in this time slot and I took advantage of it! I would be parked in front of the tv for hours each Saturday morning. And sometimes my mom would make pancakes. Not just ANY pancakes…but chocolate chip pancakes. So honestly part of the ritual became wondering if it was going to be a pancake morning, and if it wasn’t I’d beg for it to be. The begging rarely, if ever, worked from what I recall…
Anyway…my point is that maybe you could have some kind of week-end ritual in a similar way. Or maybe it’s every Friday night is “pizza and a movie” for the family. Or movie and popcorn (did you know, by the way, that you can buy big bags of popped popcorn at Rural King? Yes, I am mentioning Rural King popcorn twice in one post…if you know, you know).
Or maybe a family game night? Or all going out to breakfast on Sundays? Clearly the possibilities are practically endless…it’s just a matter of figuring out what your family would enjoy AND what could be included without a bunch of frustration or drama. For instance…if you have teenagers who often like to be out in the evenings, maybe a breakfast (or brunch, because they also sometimes like to sleep in!) would be best for you than a “forced march” of dinner and a movie on Friday nights. It might take a little work (and some tweaking) to find your ritual, but it will be completely worth the effort and energy to help strengthen those connections and relationships.