Jump to content

Menu

How do you keep extended family up to date with activities?


Recommended Posts

I'm attempting to give all the grandparents/aunts/uncles all the schedules for all the things that are beginning soon.  Soccer, volleyball, dance lessons, karate etc.  It used to be that I would always be given a printable schedule or list by all of these activities and make copies for everyone.  Now, some still do that, but others use apps like Heja or FB to organize.  Last year, when I typed up a master list for everyone, I made some transcription mistakes and it took quite a bit of time.  Other than giving a copy of my personal calendar that I have synced everything to,  has anyone figured out an easy way to do this?  I would prefer not to do this because it has a lot of details they don't need.

And yes, I want them to know everything from practice times to games and locations because not only to they come to cheer the kids on, but several of them help provide transportation where they can.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I had it together a while back, I had a separate calendar for my kids' stuff.  I would print that and give it to the person who needed it.  (In my case it would be drivers mainly.)

I have also done this using Excel, which allows me to add details etc. that I don't find easy to do in a calendar.

Either of these does require updating and sending around the updated version from time to time.  Or the person receiving it can update it themselves if they have the technology.

(That's great that your family is so involved with your kids.  In my case, in the rare event someone might want to come to something, I would just text the info for that one thing.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have. Family Google calendar set up with that stuff on it.  I put all the sports info there or anything that they need to know.  My dh's parents and Aunt have been linked as well as my older kids who no longer live at home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. People have grandparents and aunts and uncles and folks who come to their kids activities?  Boggles my mind! 

Good for you and your kids! I never lived near family growing up and I still don’t. So that’s an experience my kids or i have never had.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Wow. People have grandparents and aunts and uncles and folks who come to their kids activities?  Boggles my mind! 

Good for you and your kids! I never lived near family growing up and I still don’t. So that’s an experience my kids or i have never had.

Same. And mine couldn't care less. Never, ever crosses their mind to ask what their only grandchild/nephew is up to. 

I'm blown away that extended family would be remotely interest in soccer practice, nevermind the fact the kid plays soccer! 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Wow. People have grandparents and aunts and uncles and folks who come to their kids activities?  Boggles my mind! 

Good for you and your kids! I never lived near family growing up and I still don’t. So that’s an experience my kids or i have never had.

We have two grandparents who aren’t interested and one that I wish would skip just. one. game. so I can watch my kid play in peace and quiet.  Sigh.

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Wow. People have grandparents and aunts and uncles and folks who come to their kids activities?  Boggles my mind! 

Good for you and your kids! I never lived near family growing up and I still don’t. So that’s an experience my kids or i have never had.

 

14 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Same. And mine couldn't care less. Never, ever crosses their mind to ask what their only grandchild/nephew is up to. 

I'm blown away that extended family would be remotely interest in soccer practice, nevermind the fact the kid plays soccer! 

I promise I am not picking on these posters personally.  But these posts feel.........IDK.  I don't think the posters mean to be snarky, but something about these comes across as.....well, snarky.

 

I grew up all over the country and my grandparents and aunts and uncles all lived hours away.  They couldn't come to any practices, or games, due to distance, and never did.  However, when my oldest was a kid and participating in all sorts of activities, we DID live near family and my siblings and parents DID babysit and act as kid runners for me when needed.  And I would think that that sort of thing wouldn't genuinely surprise most people who have kids in activities, I mean surely they have seen grandparents and aunts and so on at their own kids activities.  Therefore the "surprise" seems ingenuine and therefore..."snarky" I guess.

 

OP....when my oldest kid was little, most activities had paper printouts of schedules and stuff.  Now, like you, I am finding that the groups are gravitating toward various apps.  And yeah, it's super frustrating that I can't even print out the freaking calendar.  I don't even need it for extended family, who are now, too far away, just like my own childhood....I just need it for DH! lol.  There's no way we are going to function with syncing electronics.....DH gets frustrated when his phone doesn't load fast enough lol.  Trying to wait through a sync process would be like torture.  So, I just keep him updated on a weekly basis.  If someone in my family is going to be out here, I inform them of the activities taking place while they are here.  If it's a big deal activity that they could fly out special for, I give them as much notice as I can.  

If they lived near by, I would likely just type up XYZ activity's calendar at the time I first receive it and either text or email it.  I wouldn't bother with some master list.  

Edited by happysmileylady
Link to post
Share on other sites

When my kids were little and played sport and did other activities, I would send out an email for each activity as I got the schedule.  So like for soccer season, I would send an email to my parents and ILs with the game date/places.  It worked well for us.

Now we have so few things that are "spectator" activities that I just call, text, or email with info.  Usually it is just courts of honor for the boys for scouts and maybe an art revue for DD every once in a while.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

 

I promise I am not picking on these posters personally.  But these posts feel.........IDK.  I don't think the posters mean to be snarky, but something about these comes across as.....well, snarky.

 

I grew up all over the country and my grandparents and aunts and uncles all lived hours away.  They couldn't come to any practices, or games, due to distance, and never did.  However, when my oldest was a kid and participating in all sorts of activities, we DID live near family and my siblings and parents DID babysit and act as kid runners for me when needed.  And I would think that that sort of thing wouldn't genuinely surprise most people who have kids in activities, I mean surely they have seen grandparents and aunts and so on at their own kids activities.  Therefore the "surprise" seems ingenuine and therefore..."snarky" I guess.

 

I didn't read that into it at all. We've never lived near any relatives at all. I'd never thought about relatives being willing to take my kids anywhere - and that is totally a neat and wonderful concept. My kids never got to know their grandparents (only one living now) or their aunt/uncles/cousins. I'm always a little envious of people who do have grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins close that they can have a relationship with! My dh was out of town regularly for many years, and when he was in town he worked long hours, so I have always done all of the transportation/waiting/encouraging/volunteering (so there are activities). The idea that others could/would help was totally foreign to me until we moved to this smallish town and everyone pitches in to help others if someone is sick. So, totally different perspective over here. I think their comments were 100% honest. 

OP, I don't have any ideas. When I read the subject line, I was thinking that I used to send a weekly email that said what we were doing every week - but that was just things like Library story hour, PE class, etc. No times listed - just trying to keep the extended family aware of what we were doing so they would feel like they were involved with our lives. Only one grandparent and one aunt ever asked any questions or mentioned the emails at all, so I'm not sure they cared. I didn't care - I chose to try to keep them informed. 

Edited by Bambam
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Bambam said:

I didn't read that into it at all. We've never lived near any relatives at all. I'd never thought about relatives being willing to take my kids anywhere - and that is totally a neat and wonderful concept. My kids never got to know their grandparents (only one living now) or their aunt/uncles/cousins. I'm always a little envious of people who do have grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins close that they can have a relationship with! My dh was out of town regularly for many years, and when he was in town he worked long hours, so I have always done all of the transportation/waiting/encouraging/volunteering (so there are activities). The idea that others could/would help was totally foreign to me until we moved to this smallish town and everyone pitches in to help others if someone is sick. So, totally different perspective over here. I think their comments were 100% honest. 

OP, I don't have any ideas. When I read the subject line, I was thinking that I used to send a weekly email that said what we were doing every week - but that was just things like Library story hour, PE class, etc. No times listed - just trying to keep the extended family aware of what we were doing so they would feel like they were involved with our lives. Only one grandparent and one aunt ever asked any questions or mentioned the emails at all, so I'm not sure they cared. I didn't care - I chose to try to keep them informed. 

Well, like I said, not trying to pick on anyone.  I just remember as a kid, doing the Christmas singing thing, or whatever...there were plenty of kids who had grandma and grandpa, maybe aunty em...whoever.  And really, when I was a kid...it actually was weird to me that they had like 10 people and I had..............mom and dad.  It just seems like common knowledge that there are people who are in those positions to have their extended family there and willing to help.  I completely understand that there are people who aren't in that situation, for whatever reasons.  But, the idea that such a thing "boggles the mind" seems not quite so honest.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not snarky at all. My kids have never really been in activities where there’s a reason for adults to sit around and watch.

 

ive been sitting here, considering how my life would be different if i were not the only one to drop off and pick up kids. I just have a hard time picturing what that would look like. Would be really great. Thereve been times when my kids couldn’t participate in stuff because of transportation issue. 

When I read the title my first thought was “why would extended family need to know??” 😁 truly no snark. 

Edited by fairfarmhand
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I’m not snarky at all. My kids have never really been in activities where there’s a reason for adults to sit around and watch.

 

ive been sitting here, considering how my life would be different if i were not the only one to drop off and pick up kids. I just have a hard time picturing what that would look like. Would be really great. Thereve been times when my kids couldn’t participate in stuff because of transportation issue. 

When I read the title my first thought was “why would extended family need to know??” 😁 truly no snark. 

They might need to know because they might be the one dropping off.  Is it weird to you that sometimes extended family provide afterschool care?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Where’s that envy thread? I’ll add myself to it under wishing we lived close to family. 

I’d probably type up a google sheet with date/time/activity/location/child involved. I find a printable or email-able list really helpful. You can link a sheet to a google calendar and share that as well, from the same list! 

She does a good job explaining how.

We live in a great little town where most residents have lots of family here, as a military family, that has not been our experience. It’s not unusual for aunts and uncles and all grandparents to attend music concerts and soccer games. Saving seats for a school program is serious business! 

A friend was just telling me about the joys of attending tball practice for her grandchildren - she was genuinely excited to go, and I can see how that kind of thing really builds community and keeps older people feeling like a vital part of the younger community.

I’m good friends with my son’s best friend’s uncle - because he’s the driver for his nephew for soccer and we’ve hung out together along the sidelines for a few years. I find that humorous . (My son’s best friend’s mom is also my very good friend!) 

Your family is awesome! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

They might need to know because they might be the one dropping off.  Is it weird to you that sometimes extended family provide afterschool care?

I think that to many of us, it's so out of our normal that it does seem odd. We never had grandparents nearby to drive or watch stuff, though my sister lived near my parents and had lots of help. We see the grandparents and extended families of other kids, but never (or rarely) consider what it would be like for us.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

They might need to know because they might be the one dropping off.  Is it weird to you that sometimes extended family provide afterschool care?

Not weird. Just totally outside of my personal experience. It’s not that I think it’s strange. It’s just that I have a hard time picturing it. That never happened for me. And it’s never happened for my kids. 

And im not all “wow! How weird!” As much as I’m like “whoa! That’s different and must make things a little easier.” 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Not weird. Just totally outside of my personal experience. It’s not that I think it’s strange. It’s just that I have a hard time picturing it. That never happened for me. And it’s never happened for my kids. 

And im not all “wow! How weird!” As much as I’m like “whoa! That’s different and must make things a little easier.” 

 

Well, that is what you said....

2 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Wow. People have grandparents and aunts and uncles and folks who come to their kids activities?  Boggles my mind! 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Op, I think it’s really cool that you need tools to keep relatives apprised of your kids activities. Good for you and you’re family. My family could have benefited by such investment. Good luck finding a solution to your needs.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Wow. People have grandparents and aunts and uncles and folks who come to their kids activities?  Boggles my mind! 

Good for you and your kids! I never lived near family growing up and I still don’t. So that’s an experience my kids or i have never had.

Same here. Both my parents were dead before we had any kids, then we were military and never stationed by any family plus dh's mom and my sister died before my youngest was 4.  My brother has come to both college graduations we have had but he flew to those since he doesn't live close either and neither do my dh's brothers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Google calendar is what I use to sync with my DH so that he knows where we are at any given time.

aside from that, none of my family cares about my child’s activities - I once dragged them along to his piano recital and they complained for days about having to sit through other kids performances- as far as sports, no chance of any of them moving off the couch to come and cheer or provide transportation! So, op, good for you and try the google calendar to schedule the practices.

Edited by mathnerd
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/25/2019 at 7:26 PM, fairfarmhand said:

I’m not snarky at all. My kids have never really been in activities where there’s a reason for adults to sit around and watch.

 

ive been sitting here, considering how my life would be different if i were not the only one to drop off and pick up kids. I just have a hard time picturing what that would look like. Would be really great. Thereve been times when my kids couldn’t participate in stuff because of transportation issue. 

When I read the title my first thought was “why would extended family need to know??” 😁 truly no snark. 

I completely understand!  We moved close to family 2.5 years ago and I'm still adjusting.  It was so strange to me when my MIL wanted to know the soccer PRACTICE schedule, just so she could come watch.  However, I'm trying to fully embrace it, especially this year!!  4 children with 4 different sports teams, 4 different lessons for instruments and 4 different levels of Scouts....I'm maxed out.  My MIL and DH's step-mom both recently retired and have volunteered to do a lot of the running, so I plan on keeping them busy.  Considering all those promises to help were part of the reason we moved here, it's only fitting. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

We are really really lucky in terms of family support, all from my husband's side of the family.  Right now, we're in a difficult spot and leaning pretty heavily on them, but they've been involved all of my kids' lives.  For example, I've never hired a non-family babysitter, and my oldest is 12.  Of course it's a two way street.  As childless young adults we babysat my niece regularly.  When she started having things like dance concerts and soccer games we went and cheered her on.  When my kids came along and I was home with them, I did a lot of after school childcare, and then it turned around and she did a lot of babysitting for us.  Similarly, my husband's grandfather is our after school childcare provider for two of our kids, and we in turn provide support to him by driving him places (he just gave up his license), mowing his lawn and shoveling his snow, taking him grocery shopping etc . . ..  So, my kids have lots of adults involved in their lives.  Initially, it was a big adjustment for me since my family of origin in not like this at all, it's been great for the kids.  


This is what we do, which works really well for most of us.  It has the schedules for all the kids, mine and their cousin until she left for college this fall, and also has the work schedule for the adults.  We've got several adults, including my DH, in law enforcement, so schedules aren't as simple as M-F 9 - 5.   We've got 3 family members for whom it doesn't work.  Two 9 year olds who don't have phones, and great-Grandpa who can't figure out the newfangled technology, so we've also got a white board calendar in our kitchen that we update regularly with color coded wet erase markers.  We try hard to keep them "synced".

I know the family checks it, because they often show up at events.   As I said, right now we've got a kid with a health issue that throws  a wrench in the works, and they are amazing at looking at the calendar, figuring out when we'll need support, and calling to offer before we need to ask.  For example, I'll post a change in the schedule, and within a couple hours, someone will call me and volunteer to pick up a kid from practice or otherwise solve whatever problem the change created. 

And yes, I know we're ridiculously lucky, and it's not the norm.  I can't imagine my grandparents or aunts and uncles doing the same thing.  

 

 

This is the most beautiful example of a family I have ever read.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


Yes, it is.  Since I wasn't born into it, I recognize how incredibly awesome it is.  My husband has no clue that it is special or abnormal.  When we were dating and he suggested that we take his toddler niece to the zoo I was floored (and decided he was a keeper) and he was equally floored that I was floored.  Like, isn't that what all the twenty something year old men do on the weekend?  

 

 

he is definitely a keeper!!!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/26/2019 at 12:25 AM, mathnerd said:

Google calendar is what I use to sync with my DH so that he knows where we are at any given time.

aside from that, none of my family cares about my child’s activities - I once dragged them along to his piano recital and they complained for days about having to sit through other kids performances- as far as sports, no chance of any of them moving off the couch to come and cheer or provide transportation! So, op, good for you and try the google calendar to schedule the practices.

Yes - we like google calendar too!  We have shared individual calendars with wider groups that make sense.  It's really nice for ME to have all that info in one calendar too.  I sit down with it at the beginning of a "session" of something and plug all the info in.  The other thing is, if you do that, you can then PRINT a calendar for the week or month and share it by hand too.  I have a calendar set up for each kid, and then for "family" and "homeschool".  

We have local family but never have ever been interested in having a FULL schedule to pop in whenever.  So that's unique to me too!  It's great honestly, I would have loved to have a few nights where grandma and grandpa were at a soccer field and maybe I wasn't.  LOL.  And I could also see it might be a mixed bag for some relationships like the person above who wished maybe grandma skipped something now and again.  I do think that can be so powerful in a kid's life to have the wider family invested like that!  

As my kids (and nieces/nephews) have aged, I invite family to some milestone things and then maybe plan a get together/meal afterwards.  Maybe like 3-6 times a year over all.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...