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Con of the Week: Fake-out Fridays

May 19, 2010

One of the most common complaints about kids is that they always wake up early on weekends, but you have to drag them out of bed during the week, making you late and annoyed every. Single. Morning. And really, it’s uncannily consistent, and supremely irritating. But I finally realized that it isn’t at all coincidental.

Even if you’re the worst, laziest, meanest, ugliest parent in the world and you cook pancakes from a box like some sort of animal, your kids are probably going to want to see you on the weekends, especially if you work during the weekdays and together time is limited to evenings and mornings. You might think you’re doing them a favor by saying, on Friday night, something along the lines of, “Tomorrow’s family time!” But really you’re screwing everyone. Your kids just get more excited, and less likely to sleep in (hint: kids don’t need help getting excited). If you want your kids to stay in bed on Saturday mornings, the answer, I’ve realized, is simple: Just tell them, as you tuck them into bed on Friday nights, that they have school in the morning.

A lot of the things that make kids annoying also offer you an opportunity to deceive them to your own advantage, and this is a perfect example. Kids, of course, have no concept of, seasons, days of the week, or time in general. My kids, at 6 and 4, make me suffer daily for their inability to grasp time–my daughter, for example, has been known to lose her shit after coming across a favorite swimsuit in February and having the seasons explained to her (again), and my son, told he has five minutes more before we leave the house, will obliviously begin playing some game that requires a half hour for completion. Fake-Out Fridays are the pay-off on all that.

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