kids

15 Tactics Parents Can Use To Get Their Kids To Hang Out With Them On Weekends

by Desirée O

As your kids get older and their schedules fill up with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and socializing with friends, you might find that you’re not spending as much time with them as you’d like.

And it’s not always easy to convince your children that being with their parents is a priority — or, frankly, even something that they want to do. But there are a few things that you can do to change all of this! Here’s how to get your kids to want to hang out with you on the weekend.

Ask Them What They Would Like To Do

Ask Them What They Would Like To Do
Edward/Pixabay

Before you try to plan activity-filled weekends for you and your family, ask what your kids are interested in doing. If they have trouble thinking of something, consider their interests and explore possibilities surrounding whatever it is that they like.

When you opt for a few of their ideas, they’ll be excited about your weekend adventures and will look forward to the time that you spend together.

Be Open to Their Interests, Even If It Doesn’t Seem Like Something You’ll Like

Be Open to Their Interests, Even If It Doesn’t Seem Like Something You’ll Like
D. Apolinarski/Pixabay

Continue to allow your kids to take the lead when it comes to planning your weekends together by taking part in their activities. If they’re already an avid basketball player, then set up a regular game with them. If they like to swim, then go for a dip together each week. If they’re into graphic novels, then visit their favorite comic book shop, and while you’re buying them something new, maybe pick up something for yourself so that you can be more involved.

Even if you don’t feel brave enough to try out something like skateboarding, you can still visit a skate park with them and ask them to show you the tricks that they’re able to perform.

Try a Range of Activities

Try a Range of Activities
Chad White/Twenty20

Along with indulging in interests that your children already regularly take part in, you can also keep your kids intrigued by your weekends together by trying out a range of activities. Brainstorm a bunch of ideas for fun outings such as bowling, seeing a movie at a drive-in theater, canoeing, visiting an art gallery, or jumping around a trampoline park.

While you’ll probably end up liking some activities more than others, attempting new things is a way to keep your fun fresh and introduce your family to new experiences.

Make Your Home a Fun and Comfortable Place To Be

Make Your Home a Fun and Comfortable Place To Be
Solomon Rodgers/Pixabay

Your kids will likely want to hang out with you more if your home is a comfortable place to be. Set up a family room and fill it with comfortable couches, cozy rugs, and perhaps a snazzy entertainment system that you can all enjoy together. If you have room for a pool table or ping-pong table, then consider adding one to your play space.

Be sure to have plenty of games and even puzzles on hand to make sure that there is always something fun to do together.

Let Their Friends Be a Part of Your Family Activities

Let Their Friends Be a Part of Your Family Activities
Damia News/Twenty20

If your kids are reluctant to sacrifice the time that they could be hanging out with their peers and pals to instead spend time with you, then consider inviting your children’s friends to be a part of your weekend activities.

Plan a group date for mini-golf or take the entire crew to a movie. Perhaps even make your home the place where your kid’s friends like to hang out so that they’ll all choose to spend time at your home on a regular basis.

Plan Outings With Other Families

Plan Outings With Other Families
Rhae Anne Etheredge/Twenty20

You can also make your family time together more social by inviting other families to join in the fun. Not only will your kids enjoy having others their own age around, but you might also appreciate spending time with other adults.

Plan a potluck-style picnic at a local park, or take everyone to a local fair and have a great time making memories with both friends and family.

Watch Movies That You’ll Both Enjoy

Watch Movies That You’ll Both Enjoy
Tony Andrews Photography/Twenty20

If your family members enjoy watching the latest blockbusters or classic cult films, then plan a weekly movie night. Whether you prefer to head out to a local theater or arrange for a comfy screening at home, be sure to choose a flick that everyone will be excited to see so that every movie night is as highly anticipated as the films themselves.

Have Reading Time

Have Reading Time
Darby S/Twenty20

For families filled with bookworms, try planning weekend reading time together. If your children are younger, then read to them. If your kids are a little older, then have quiet reading time together and maybe even spend some time chatting about what you’re each reading, like your own little book club.

Do Projects Together

Do Projects Together
Pexels/Twenty20

Do you have a hobby? Do you like to knit or crochet? Perhaps you’re into gardening or fixing up old cars. If you have a project that you’re about to start, then ask your kids to help you out.

Working on a fun project together will not only make your kid eager to spend more time with you to continue the fun each week, but your child might also learn something new and appreciate the sense of accomplishment when you finally finish up whatever it is that you’re working on.

Volunteer To Coach or Lead Their Activities

Volunteer To Coach or Lead Their Activities
Steve Wagner/Twenty20

Your kids might already have commitments that take up a rather significant chunk of time that you could be spending with them. You certainly don’t want them to slack when it comes to their responsibilities, but you can be more involved by volunteering to coach or lead their activities.

Go Out for a Weekly Family Restaurant Date

Go Out for a Weekly Family Restaurant Date
Nao Okawa/Twenty20

Give yourself a break from having to make dinner and give your family a treat by planning a weekly restaurant date. Stick with a favorite eatery every time, or try something new each week to introduce your kids to interesting cuisine.

Cook Exciting Experimental Meals Together

Cook Exciting Experimental Meals Together
Kelly Foreman/Twenty20

For the nights on the weekend when you’d rather stay in, try cooking meals together with your entire family. Plan a tummy-tempting menu that will be both easy and fun to create. And don’t worry about getting a little messy — focus on having fun together!

Come Up With a Fun Weekly Tradition

Come Up With a Fun Weekly Tradition
Bright Ideas/Twenty20

Along with trying various new activities during your weekend adventures with your children, schedule a new family tradition that you can all look forward to each week. Come up with some ideas with your kids, like Saturday game night or Sunday morning brunches.

Don’t Overschedule Your Time Together, and Keep Things Chill

Don’t Overschedule Your Time Together, and Keep Things Chill
Sakura Christopher/Twenty20

While you want to make sure that you set up activities that you and your children can look forward to, you also don’t want to make things stressful by overscheduling your time. Be sure not to put any pressure on yourself or your kids. Keep things chill, and you’ll all enjoy your time together much more.

Don’t Try To Be Their Best Friend, Instead Be a Fun and Supportive Parent

Don’t Try To Be Their Best Friend, Instead Be a Fun and Supportive Parent
Przemek Klos/Twenty20

Getting your kids interested in spending time with you doesn’t mean that you have to try to act like their best friend. Psychology Today explains that being a good parent means that you’re “the authority in your kid’s life … Your role is not to be your child’s friend.”

Instead, be a fun and supportive parent, and your children will appreciate both you and the time you spend together.