Weekend Dads – How to Create Meaningful Weekends with Your Children

What's your excuse?

Someone has to work. Weekend is the only time I can rest. These are some of the excuses that dads make when they do not have time for their children. Let’s face it our face time with our children is becoming shorter and shorter. Before you know it, your children are all grown up and the only fond memory you have is when you almost made it to their birthday party.

The truth is I am a weekend dad. I get up early in the morning while my daughter is still asleep and arrive home late when she is already sleeping. The most I can do is just watch her as she rests. Of course I don’t want my memories to be limited to a child sleeping - I want more. As such, I make it a point to spend time every minute I can with her.

Weekends are my favorite days because I can spend it with her. Here’s what dads can do to create meaningful weekends and never lose the bond between parent and child.

Our weekend trip to Kinder Zoo, Manila Zoo , Philippines

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dad let's go there.With me is an endangered and elusive species known to like being photographed.  The other one is a bird.Honey this is your brother....We're in time for the elephant's snack.  We actually got to feed the elephant.  Cool first trip to the zoo for my daughter.Yna, mommy...and NOT ME.Yna's first encounter with a real horse.  A final flying kiss to all the animals she visited.
Dad let's go there.
Dad let's go there.
With me is an endangered and elusive species known to like being photographed.  The other one is a bird.
With me is an endangered and elusive species known to like being photographed. The other one is a bird.
Honey this is your brother....
Honey this is your brother....
We're in time for the elephant's snack.  We actually got to feed the elephant.  Cool first trip to the zoo for my daughter.
We're in time for the elephant's snack. We actually got to feed the elephant. Cool first trip to the zoo for my daughter.
Yna, mommy...and NOT ME.
Yna, mommy...and NOT ME.
Yna's first encounter with a real horse.
Yna's first encounter with a real horse.
A final flying kiss to all the animals she visited.
A final flying kiss to all the animals she visited.

Create anticipation for the coming weekend

Even if you don’t get to spend time with your child on weekdays, you can still connect with them by creating anticipation for the coming weekend. Make your children eager to spend time with you.

  • Slip notes in their school bags or lunch bag to rouse their excitement for the coming weekend.
  • Have a countdown to the weekend. Have them cross out days in the calendar.
  • A timeline is great to visually represent how far or near the weekend is.
  • Give daily clues to what you plan for the weekend. You can cut a picture of a vacation or Disneyland poster and give a piece every day as a clue. Keep them guessing.

Keep your promises

One important factor in being a successful weekend dad is to keep your promises. Remember that your absence during the weekday can cause trust issues. If you compound this with not keeping your promises, you risk losing your child’s trust even more.

  • Promise only what you can deliver
  • Be consistent

Weekend In Baguio City, Philipppines

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mommy and YnaThree of us squeezing into the frame.Love you lots mommy and Yna.Yna loves grassCan't take her hands off the grass.  Wet wipes needed!Dad, let me down now!
Mommy and Yna
Mommy and Yna
Three of us squeezing into the frame.
Three of us squeezing into the frame.
Love you lots mommy and Yna.
Love you lots mommy and Yna.
Yna loves grass
Yna loves grass
Can't take her hands off the grass.  Wet wipes needed!
Can't take her hands off the grass. Wet wipes needed!
Dad, let me down now!
Dad, let me down now!

Include family time in your plans

Work may take up much of your time but it does not own you. Block of your schedule just for your family’s activities. Moreover, plan ahead so it is easier to squeeze in other work stuff.

  • Proper time management both short term and long term is essential.
  • Use your paid leaves for special family activities.
  • Think of fun and creative weekend activities with your family during your break time at work.
  • Search the net or ask advice on what to do on a weekend.
  • Have a picture of your family on your desk to remind you of your family commitments.

Focus on your children

During weekends with your family make sure you give them 100% of your attention. If you need to switch off your phone or unplug your computer (gasp) do it!

  • Don’t bring home work on weekends
  • Advise the office not to contact you during weekends
  • Put calls to voicemail
  • Resist the urge to check your office email
  • Remove all work-related distractions – forms, documents, etc.
  • Make the weekend activity all about your child

Spending more time with your children is very important. However, many work situations rob us of the chance to spend more time with them. But this does not mean we are doomed as fathers. Being a weekend dad can be changed into something positive. Make the most of however little time you have with them. Don't be an absentee dad.

Quick Queries:

  • How much time to do spend with your children?
  • What are your favorite activities with your family?
  • How do you balance work and family?

More Parenting Tips:

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Comments 21 comments

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

I think all parents who work during the week need to read this article. My fondest memories are those of my parents surprising my brother and I with things to do on the weekend. They weren't expensive - they'd take us to the beach to get ice-cream, or take a day trip to another part of town we'd never been. My best memory of my Dad was when he took me out for a milkshake and we got lost driving alongside a forest- as my sense of direction was passed down from him! We eventually got home, but I'll never forget it.

Spending quality time with children on the weekends is something that every parent should do. Children never forget the small things, especially if parent's are too busy or involved in their own lives to bother.

I love your idea about building up the excitement and having a countdown calendar to the big day. What fun! :)

Voted up, interesting, awesome!


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Your baby is so cute and adorable! Thanks for posting this. :)


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hi MelChi,

True, it does not have to be expensive ot elaborate. A siomple bonding session over an ice cream cone is good enough. It is these special moments that will last a lifetime. I appreciate your comments and thanks for sharing your fond memories. The positive clciks are also appreciated.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hi M,

She is really adorable - that's a proud father speaking. :)


greeneryday profile image

greeneryday 4 years ago from Some tropical country

Children need their parents presence more than anything, you just don't go out there and working to provide what your children needs but spending quality time with your child(s) also helps for their personal development. great hub, a good reminder for all of us who are so busy at work and sometimes forget to spend time with family.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

You got it dead on greeneryday. Being a first time dad, I don't want to be a weekend dad minus the quality time. Creating meaningful weekends is easy and is not expensive.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.


Lightshare profile image

Lightshare 4 years ago

Thanx jpcmc for a nice information.. -)


nenytridiana profile image

nenytridiana 4 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

The men who think they are busy would try to avoid the quality time with their family. They love their job more than anything, sometimes I did too. The worse thing is they do their job to escape from their family, and said that men deal with the real world, and family matters are wife duty. Funny, isn't it? But they are not my husband. My husband is willing to quit his job for another job that keeps him with his family. With our five children I can't do anything without help from my husband.

Your family must be proud on you for having such a good father and husband. Great work jpcmc.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

HI there Lightshare,

I'm glad to share. Thanks for the visit.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hi there nenytridiana,

Parents must share in the responsibility. It is true that work is important but family is important as well. We are easily blinded by the fact thaat we need to earn a living. But the family is our life not our work.

I appreciate your insights and thank you for sharing your ideas.


TeachableMoments profile image

TeachableMoments 4 years ago from California

Jpcmc, your daughter is blessed to have such a loving father who knows the importance of quality time. You make the moments with her special. Your daughter, on some level, understands this. When she is older she will treasure this quality in you. Great hub for all parents!


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Thank you TeachableMoments for the kind words. Every moment is really special. I want it to be special. I hope that other parents out there realize how important this is.


AjeetKhurana profile image

AjeetKhurana 4 years ago from Mumbai, India

I am more of a daily Dad, but I agree with the other points. Thanks for a great hub.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hello AjeetKhurana,

I\ts good that you can interact with your child everyday. I appreciate your comments and kind words about the hub.


Ryan 4 years ago

I had to move out of the house during the divorce process. It's really difficult. Seeing my children only for a few days at a time is stressful to say the least. But whenever I can, I make each moment memorable.

Some dads who simply choose work over their children should be maimed. That's just a suggestion. :)


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hello Ryan,

Being away from people you love can be stressful. I'm not really sure if your suggestion will pass human rights organizations but I understand what you mean.


Analyn 4 years ago

My husband works in a cruise ship and we get to see each other only a few months in a year. Now that I'm pregnant with our first baby, I just don't know how it will be.


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hi Analyn,

It's hard if parents don't get to see their children. I just hoe you find a away around it. Good luck Analyn.


Turtlewoman profile image

Turtlewoman 3 years ago from California

Yna is growing up so fast! She is blessed to have such a great father who makes every effort to spend as much quality time with her. She's beautiful! I'll remember your advice on making promises that you can deliver, and keeping them. Great hub.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

Very nice picture of you in several outings with your family! Those are precious time that your daughter will remember.

When I give art workshops to kids with accompanying parents, I always thank the parents for taking the time to have special activities with their kids. When you do that, you create memories for a life time!


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines Author

Hi there kidscrafts,

Every moment is really precious. I try to make fun memories for my daughter. Plus, the bonding time is really worth while.

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