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Give Them A Break

people and technology at its best

 

Sometimes our kids need a break from their schedule. 

B is involved in Tae Kwon Do and baseball, plus he has therapies and counseling throughout the week. This makes our days after school quite busy, often resulting in us not getting home until 7:30 each night. 

Some people have told me he’s too busy for such a young guy, and while I do agree that our kids need downtime, the busy routine works well for our family and B isn’t impacted. We also don’t have any homework (thank goodness) but I still manage to squeeze in some learning time in between our activities in the car, along with playground after school, and Starbucks trips with my little guy. 

Our typical week goes something like this:

Monday-

  • 4:30 school pick up
  • Come home for 45 minutes, eat a snack, do ABC Mouse, play, then get dressed for baseball practice
  • 6:00-7:00 baseball practice
  • Come home, eat dinner, shower, 30 min of TV, then bed

Tuesday-

  • 4:30 school pick up
  • 4:45-5:15-Occupational Therapy, we bring our baseball uniform to change into at OT, eat a snack that I packed that day for after school
  • 6:15-7:30-baseball game
  • Come home, eat dinner, shower, 30 min of TV, then bed

Wednesday-

  • 4:30 school pick up
  • Head to Starbucks for coffee and hang time with mommy and B, practice some sight words while we’re there (or some other activity/game)
  • 6:00-6:45-Taekwondo
  • Come home, eat dinner, shower, 30 min of TV, then bed

Thursday-

  • 4:30 school pick up
  • Quick playground trip
  • 5:30-6:15-Taekwondo
  • Come home, eat dinner, play, shower, 30 min of TV, then bed

Friday-

  • 4:30 school pick up
  • Head to Starbucks for coffee and hang time with mommy and B, practice some sight words while we’re there (or some other activity/game)
  • 6:00-7:00-Counselor
  • Come home, eat dinner, shower, 30 min of TV, then bed

The dates and times vary based on what’s going on because baseball game days change from week to week. Also, we are in the process of finding a new counselor because our amazing one had to close her practice for a while, but that’ll pick back up again soon. 

Even though B does great with the back and forth and mostly living in our car throughout the week, we recognized that sometimes he just wants to come home and hang out without a scheduled activity that day. 

Michael listens to a podcast with B, The Warrior Kid Podcast, (highly recommend, along with my recommendations for other kid-friendly podcasts!) and one of the suggestions on there is to have a “free pass” card for your kid that they can use throughout the week or month. I loved this idea when Michael told me, so I ran with it and created our own tickets! The idea is that they get so many tickets in a month, or whichever timeframe you choose, and they use it when they want time off. You must set up some guidelines for what they’re allowed to be used for. For example, ours are only for weekdays when he can choose not to attend Taekwondo or baseball. They cannot be used for chores, getting out of going to school, counseling OT, etc.. You can also decide how many tickets you want to distribute in a time frame you choose. 

Getting Started:

  • Print the cards I made if you’d like: personal day tickets 
  • Select your timeframe (weekly, monthly)
  • Decide how many tickets you want to allow. (We started with 2 per month and will see how that goes. Print multiple of my PDF file if you decide on more)
  • Make some boundaries for what they’re allowed to be used for.
    • Some suggestions you might want to consider for when they’re allowed to use the tickets: sports or scheduled activities, chores, or tagging along for running errands, homework (not getting out of doing it all together, but putting it off one night if there’s time for that).

You know your child best, so cater it to your family needs! 

This system removes some of the “I don’t want to go” back and forth conversations, and it gives them power over days when they may feel a little more tired. B used one of his tickets when he just wanted a chill evening at home from Taekwondo last week, and it was great! We stayed home and watched a movie together on the sofa. 

We all need a downtime. I think this is a great solution and way to give our kids some power, when their little bodies and minds just need a break.

 

 

 

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