Hot, sticky, and expensive… not usually a recipe for success when it comes to couples and families getting along. Adrienne C. Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, shares tips for attending the "great Minnesota get-together" and coming out happy on the other side!
Let's face it… the MN State Fair usually brings scorching hot temps, high humidity and a serious hit to your bank account! So how can couples and families prepare for their adventure to ensure everyone has a good time?
1. Set a Budget and Stick To It
Create a budget in advance that takes into account all of your travel, parking, eating, and entertainment expenses. Then be sure to stick to it to reduce fighting while you're at the Fair. As a couple or parents, be sure you're both committed to sticking to the budget. Fighting occurs when one partner decides to deviate from the agreed upon plan. Also communicate the budget with the kids, so everyone is on the same page. Get the kids excited and give them their share of the budget so they know how much they get to spend on their stuff. It's also a great way to teach them responsibility when it comes to handling money and budgeting for things they want.
2. Create a Plan For The Day
Get organized ahead of time for your whole outing. Will you pay for parking? Or do you prefer to ride the bus? Try buying your tickets in advance to save some money and avoid entry lines. Figure out your "getting there" schedule a few days in advance so you'll be organized and ready to go the day of the Fair. Also, make a "See" & "Eat" Plan: Have each member of your family select one "must-do" and one "must eat" for the day and commit to doing those things together, as a family, so everyone gets to have fun and be involved in the day's activities.
3. Focus on Making Memories
In between all of the eating, walking, sweating and possibly fighting, it's important to remember that you're creating memories. Slow down and take the time to enjoy yourselves. You don't have to accomplish EVERYTHING in one day.
As easy as it sounds, taking a break when you're starting to get frustrated can be the furthest thing from your mind. Whether your frustration is directed at your partner or your children, try to be aware of it before it comes out in anger, mean comments, etc. There is nothing wrong with taking a break to cool down and collect yourself.
For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and relationship tips, please visit her website at www.TheEngagementCoach.com.