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Plan a kids-in-charge day

Ever wonder why kids are in such a hurry to grow up? Probably because they’re tired of being told what to do. Surprise your kids with a special Kids in Charge day on which they get to be the boss.

Girl riding bike with family

1Plan ahead

The key to having a successful Kids in Charge Day is to give your kids some advance notice. Mark the day on your family calendar, and give your kids a list with checkboxes to map out their day. For example:

  • What would you like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (pancakes, waffles, rare treats like sugary cereals or chocolate milk)?
  • What crafts or family activities would you like to do (baking, making play dough, setting up a water play obstacle course in the backyard)?
  • Would you like to go on any special outings (zoo, hiking, bicycle ride, picnic)?

Creative family activity ideas >>

2Set a few limits

Be clear about your limits up front, to avoid disappointment and arguments later. Yes, it would be great to hop in the car and drive to the beach – unless the beach is 300 miles away. Reasonable limits to communicate to your kids include a dollar amount and a mile radius.

3Relax the rules

We know most parents don’t let kids eat candy all day or leave messes wherever they go. If you want your Kids in Charge day to be a success, though, relax your usual rules — and dare we say — let things slide. Yes, you may grit your teeth looking at that unmade bed or watching your kids play more than their usual half-hour of video games while hopped up on Cocoa Pebbles. Just remember: It’s only for one day.

4Enjoy the family time

The kids will probably want to include the whole family in Kids in Charge day. Put down your mobile devices and make yourself fully available to play, get messy, or do whatever the kids want to do with you. This day is a great way for your family to reconnect. You might find that the kids enjoy having your undivided attention even more than being the boss.

Slow down and enjoy fun family time >>

5Capture your memories

Keep your camera handy and snap lots of photos and videos to remember the wacky antics that transpire while the kids are ruling the roost. Turn your photos into a Kids in Charge Day photo book so you can flip through the memories when they’re older, and remember how fun it was to have a family water balloon fight and eat ice cream sundaes for dinner.

Take great family photos >>

6Make it an annual tradition

Agree on a date that would make a good Kids in Charge Day, and designate it as an annual holiday. On those days when your kids are moaning about always being told what to do, remind them that their day is coming.

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