As your kids get older, you wonder what a weekend routine should look like. This post outlines what to consider in your weekend routine, from morning wake up time to bedtime. It also goes over different activities to do and responsibilities to include your child’s weekend.
Before your children enter school, it is pretty easy to stick to a typical routine from day to day. Even though weekends will disrupt things and change up some aspects of what is your normal schedule, you keep most things the same.
Once you have older children, especially tweens and teens, the weekend routine almost seems impossible to grasp. You do not know what to include and what to ignore. You want to get the most out of the weekend, but you are not sure what that looks like.
You need to decide how much the weekend can vary from your daily routines. How much consistency does your child need? How much can the family’s routine change on the weekend in comparison to the rest of the week?
Let’s discuss elements to include in your weekend routine with older kids.
Morning Wake Up Time and Bedtime
You need to consider what your child’s morning wake up time and bedtime will be for the weekend.
The two are very connected with each other.
The first question to ask yourself is if you will allow your child to sleep in and/or stay up later than a typical bedtime.
The facts of sleep science are that maintaining the same bedtime and morning wake up time is the healthiest way to go. But we are humans and there will at least be times that your child will want to stay up late and sleep in, especially in the teen years.
Decide what your weekend bedtime and morning wake up time will be. This will vary greatly from family to family and child to child. If your child has commitments, like a sport or a job, early Saturday morning, bedtime Friday will have to be earlier than the child who has nothing pressing Saturday morning.
If your family attends church on the weekend, that will affect when bedtime and morning wake up time can be.
As your child becomes a teenager, they will likely at times have activities with friends that keep them out later than their typical bedtime.
Chores should be a part of your child’s week each week. For many children who are in school, that will mean chores will be done on Saturday.
I tell my kids they can do their chores any day of the week, but they are due Saturday before any fun happens. They can choose to get them done on a weekday or wait until Saturday morning.
Saturday is a great day to get a load of laundry done and clean the dirty clothes. My teens are in charge of their own laundry, and the weekend is at times the only time they can do it.
Part of chores is just things that have to be done. You might need to run errands on the weekend. You might just have one parent go out and do that. You might have one parent and take turns taking a child along for some one-on-one time. You might also go out as an entire family.
Homework is similar to chores. It can be done during the week, but if it was not done during the week, it will need to be done on the weekend.
The weekend isn’t just about chores and homework. It is a great opportunity to participate in some extra curricular activities! You might have games. You might have lessons or practice.
The weekend is also a good opportunity to try out some hobbies. What is your child interested in? The weekend is a good time to try out rock climbing or to sit down and read a good book.
This is a good time to teach new hobbies or life skills. One example is cooking. You can try a new recipe on the weekend and teach your child to cook.
It is wise to think about what technology time you are okay with on the weekend. Some families only allow technology on the weekends and others do not allow any on the weekend. Some allow technology all week.
What are your rules and expectations for technology? Do chores need to be done first, or can your child watch Saturday morning cartoons? Are movies okay? What about video games?
Nap or Rest Time
Think about if you want to incorporate a nap or rest time on the weekend. When my family was younger as a whole, we did a Sunday family nap/rest time. We all rested in our beds at the same time.
As your kids get older, you might not want to spend time in nap or rest time. Your time together is limited and you might not want to spend it resting. However, it is good to be mindful of self care and making sure everyone is rested. Rest time might be just the thing someone needs to recharge.
The weekend is a great time for family time together. There are so many things you can do as a family and such a variety in what you might do.
You can do simple activities at home, like backyard fun, family movie night, or family games.
You can participate in sports. You might watch your kids play sports, play sports as a family, or go watch a sporting event together.
You can go out but keep it simple with a family walk or bike ride. You can pack sandwiches and have a picnic.
You might go bowling, rocking climbing, to a trampoline park, or another similar location.
You might go enjoy nature and go hiking, to the lake, to the beach, or on a walk.
You can attend special events like concerts, plays, and other events.
You can go out to eat. Go get brunch or dinner of just go out for ice cream.
Have simple traditions. One thing we do that the kids love is to have a pizza night Friday night. It is something everyone looks forward to, including mom!
No matter what you do, dong something together will be meaningful to your children. Quality time is highly connected to quantity time.
For our family, church is a big part of our Sunday. Sunday is a very different day for us from all other days of the week.
Preparation for the Upcoming Week
Every Sunday evening, we spend time as a family going over our upcoming week. We spend time going through the calendar and schedule and figuring out how to make everything work.
We talk about any concerns any one might have. We talk about goals we are working on. We discuss any concerns anyone in the family might have.
I highly recommend making this part of your weekend routine on Sunday night. It really helps you make Monday morning easier.
As your child gets older, you will want to give more and more control to your child. As your teen gets older, he should decide what time he goes to sleep within reason. Make sure your teen has to manage the consequences of choices, also, so your child can really understand what it means to be in charge of decisions.
As you plan out your weekend, keep the following in mind:
- Morning routines (what time to wake up)
- Nap or rest time possibilities
- Bedtime (same or different from week)
- Chores and responsibilities
- Activities–individual activities and family activities
- Technology allowance
- Freedoms vs. responsibilities
- Family planning time
These things will help you get things worked out to settle into a family routine that works for you.