My husband and I have four children and life is busy. Just feeding and cleaning up after our brood feels like a full time job.
Spending special one-on-one time with each of our children sometimes seems like an impossible task. They all want attention all the time. Any time I sit down to read or play a game with one child, another child needs something and the time gets interrupted.
My children crave time with mommy and daddy away from the clamor of their siblings. I’ve found that intentionally carving out special time with each child makes them feel special, heard and loved.
My husband and I occasionally plan special mommy or daddy dates with one child and also try to incorporate some one-on-one time with each of our children into our daily and weekly routine. Here are a few ideas for spending one-on-one time with each of your kiddos.
- Choose an errand buddy. This one is super easy and doesn’t take any extra time since errands have to be done anyway! Allow your errand buddy to pick out a few items at the grocery store or stop by for an ice cream cone to make the time more fun. Engage your child in conversation while they have your one-on-one attention.
- Stagger bedtimes. Spend a few minutes one-on-one with each child at bedtime. Read a book, sing a song, lie down with your child and talk about their day. Siblings should play quietly or read a book in their bedrooms while waiting for their time with mom or dad. Divide and conquer if both parents are available at bedtime.
- Take a walk. If you have a dog, daily walks are most likely already part of your daily routine. Bring one child with you each time you walk for a few minutes of one-on-one conversation.
- Cook together. Choosing a cooking helper is another good way to incorporate one-on-one time with a child into your weekly routine. Ideally, choose a time when both parents are available so that one parent and child can cook while the other parent entertains siblings. Try a new recipe together or allow your child to choose a favorite meal to prepare for the family. Enjoy spending time together as you teach age appropriate cooking skills.
- Plan a date. A date with mommy or daddy can be very special and memorable for your child. A sports event, a children’s play, a day at an amusement park or a visit to a zoo or museum are a few ideas for memorable parent/child dates. For something fun, but less expensive, going out for ice cream, riding bikes or visiting a park can also be enjoyable dates.