As the mom to three children, I often struggle to find time for one on one time with each of my kids. I want each one of them to know that they are loved and valued. I want to build confidence into how God has uniquely created them. The November 2010 issue of Disney Family Fun Magazine offers some great tips from parents on how carve out time for each child. In their magazine, they suggest trying some of the following strategies:
- Two Twofer Tuesdays — Every Tuesday, this family divides and conquers! One parent and one child spend time doing an activity that the child chooses. The other parent is also spending time with another child. The next week, they switch. This is great for parents of two children. If you have more, the child not spending time with mom or dad can spend time doing something special such as playing on the computer, watching a special show or playing with a friend.
- Bedtime Bonus — Another family, with five children, had a great solution for making special time for each child. Each night of the week, one child got to stay up 15 minutes past their bedtime. They get to choose with whom they want to spend the time with, either mom or dad. The other parent is responsible for putting the other children to bed! Brilliant! They spend time talking, playing a game, reading or even packing lunches for the next day.
- Time Cards — In this family, also with five children, each child has a Special Time with Dad card, which is basically an index card. This card allows the child 10-15 minutes of undivided attention from Dad. To redeem, each child can use it weekly by giving the card to Dad. They spend the time, playing a game, working a puzzle or even running an errand. This gives the child the ability to request special time when they need it!
I think these are great, easy ways to incorporate special one on one time with each child. Here are some other suggestions:
- Daddy Dates —Once a month, Dad can take one child on a special date. This can be to get ice cream, out to eat or even to the park. What is important is to show your child a special time!
- Kitchen Duty —Have one child help you in the kitchen while cooking dinner. This allows you to spend time together making dinner for your family and having the chance to talk to your child about their day.
- Breakfast Buddy — Take your child to eat breakfast before school for a special way to start the day. Mom or Dad can take one child to eat breakfast while the other parent takes care of the other children.
It truly isn’t about QUALITY time with our children. What matters to them, is QUANTITY time. How are you investing in each of your children? Let us know how you make an effort to spend time with each child!