Each day, most of us struggle to complete our necessary chores. In the midst of all these necessities, it’s easy to forget to slow down and pay attention to the little things, like spending quality one-on-one time with your kids. Everyday chaos means that some of life’s opportunities to create good and long lasting memories are often missed. Children won’t remember whether or not you took out the trash or made dinner, but they will remember the time that you built a fort out of sheets and blankets in the living room.
These times matter because they make each child feel special and loved. At the same time, you get to know your child better.
Why One-on-one Time?
Family time is excellent for building strong relationships, but these moments don’t work the same way as alone time with each child. All that time telling kids to do this or that makes it seem like everyone is operating on autopilot. One-on-one time is a great chance to really teach your kids with actions. This time is especially important for younger kids.
During this time, it’s easier to get your point across because there are fewer distractions from brothers and sisters. You may even find that you pay better attention to your child during one-on-one time and get to know how they think and what’s going on in their lives. This strengthens your bond with each other. If your child has been acting out in order to get your attention, this time will help to reduce these negative actions. You may even be able to help build your child’s self esteem as you show them that you value their individual needs, desires and strengths.
Spontaneous or Scheduled?
One-on-one time with your child can be either spontaneous or scheduled. Some spontaneous time might involve doing some household chores together, running errands, taking care of the family dog, playing a game or doing some volunteer work. A planned date is also a fun way to spend with your child, as the anticipation makes it more special.
Plan the event in advance by putting it on your digital calendar or a paper calendar that your child can see. Make it something that your child likes but that your other kids won’t feel jealous about. Leave the electronic devices at home and don’t fall into the temptation to finish any errands. Just enjoy the moment.
How much time is enough?
The number of minutes isn’t what is important. The important part is that your child has your undivided attention. Be available during these moments and really listen to what your child is saying. If being spontaneous doesn’t suit your child’s personality, schedule things and start small, such as a half hour trip to the park or a pet shelter or whatever suits your child’s abilities and interests. So long as you both enjoy the time together, you’ll both benefit from the experience and be more likely to do it again.
BIO: Patricia Dimick is a Denver based freelance writer and a fun stay-at-home mom. This passionate coffee drinker loves to write about parenting topics and enjoys DIY projects. Patricia spends her free time playing table tennis or enjoying trips to nature with her precious daughter and loving husband. You can reach her @patricia_dimick.