Monday, March 12, 2018

Make it special: Take time for one-on-one parent-child dates

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If you have multiple kids, or even just multiple parents, you might have the worry of how to give one-on-one attention to a child, apart from the spotlight-hogging of siblings or everyday routines. Your kids will relish time to be with a parent free from distractions, with all the attention for the space of a special outing.

My husband recently instituted a new family custom of parent-kid outings, where each child gets a special date with each parent. We have three kids, so he set up Saturdays on our family calendar with a code for which parent goes out with which child, and it rotates around so that every three weeks, a child gets a date, and every six weeks, both parents will have gone out with each child. Did that math make sense? Let's assume so.

Here are a couple reasons that prompted us to try for some one-on-one special bonding time with each child:

  • Sam had been working a lot recently, so his time with just the kids was scattershot and hurried. In contrast, my time with the kids was always en masse and filled with distractions like errands and housekeeping.
  • We have a 10-year-old, 6-year-old, and 3-year-old, and we started realizing the 10-year-old was the non-squeaky wheel who never got the grease. After spending his baby and toddlerhood in dramatic isolation, Mikko is now the quiet, chill tween who lets his brothers talk over him. We figured each child would appreciate some time to express himself without any competition.