You and Me Time
Spending time as a family is wonderful. In fact, it is one of the most essential facets of raising healthy and happy children. Nevertheless, in families where there are several children, it becomes important for the parents to spend some alone time with each child. This is indeed the best way to catch up with the changes and happenings in each child’s life. It is a great way of deepening the close bonds that you already share with your children. Here are 6 ways loving parents can spend time with each child:
1. Let It Be Known
Let your children know that in addition to spending time together as a family, you will also be spending time with each of them separately. Letting your children know about this new arrangement will help diffuse instances of jealously or the need to compete for your attention. Each child will understand that when you leave for an ice cream date with Brian, your 8 year old, it does not mean that you are favouring Brian; you are just spending some special time with him and that everyone will have his or her own time with you. It would also be a good idea if you deliberately schedule your special time with each child and let everyone know whose turn it is this week and whose turn it will be the following week. This further serves to eliminate sibling rivalry and that potential urge to compete.
2. Work Together
Spending time with each child does not have to be an expensive or out of the norm affair. In fact, you can spend time with a child individually by doing housework together. For example, if it is Brian’s turn to spend some time with you, he could join dad in a carpentry project over the weekend or he could help him clean up the backyard. If the following week it is Sadie’s turn to spend time with you, you could prepare a meal together, clean and organize her room together, or decorate her younger brother’s nursery together. These moments you spend together is a great time to have conversations, to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
3. Take Advantage of Unplanned Opportunities
While it is wise to deliberately schedule one-on-one time with each child, sometimes the opportunities come naturally. For example, if you have a 2 year old, a 6 and an 11 year old, you could spend time together with the two year old while the other children are at school. When the others come back from school, you could spend some time with the 6 year old in the bathroom as he takes a shower and gets himself ready for the evening. Most likely, the 2 year old and the 6 year old go to bed earlier than the 11 year old; this offers you uninterrupted time alone with your 11 year old before she heads to bed. Of course, not all families have children spread out in this way. The idea is to take advantage of the in-between opportunities as they come, to spend time with each child.
4. Split Up
Splitting up as a family can offer ample time for each parent to spend time with each child. For example, if you have two children, Brian and Sadie, one weekend dad could hit the mall with Sadie and mom could go to the football match with Brain. The other weekend, mom could spend time with Sadie while dad hangs out with Brian. In instances where you have more than two children, splitting up is still possible. You could enlist the help of friends and family so that each child is hanging out with someone, including others with mom and dad.
5. Do What They Love
A great way to spend time with each child is to join one when she is doing something she loves. For example, if Sadie loves reading in the outdoors over the weekend, you could ask her whether you could hang out together as you read books. If Brian is more of a builder and likes to creative projects, join him and build something together.
Overall, no matter how busy life may seem, there is always an opportunity to spend quality time with each child and to grow the bond day after day.