Do Each of Your Children Get Enough One-on-One Time?

It’s important to make sure you spend enough one-on-one time with your children, but some days it’s not always easy. One is having a pout-fest at dinner while the other is waiting patiently to be fed and released.  What do you do?   Here are some tips that might help!

  1.  Divide and conquer.  With two kids, each can take one to run errands on a Saturday or after school.  Errands get done in half the time and everyone gets one on one time.
  2. Pay close attention to the things they like and will sit and do what they want to do, rather than always bringing them along on my errands. Even if that means watching 30 minutes of YouTube videos about Minecraft or Try Not to Laugh videos or terribly acted movies about mermaids.  This time is about them, not you.
  3. I’m a big believer in finding what interests your children and nurturing that.  So if you have one, like I did, who was a swimmer, diver and athlete, and another who enjoyed any thing that involved a ball,  I found a way to take them to lessons, meets,  practices and that became ‘their’ thing with Dad or Mom.  Together we built special memories that were ‘ours’.
  4. Take your kids on dates.  Scheduled one-on-one ‘special nights’ once per week (ice cream dates after dinner would work), rotating among the three kids and trading off between you and their dad. I also have scheduled midday time when I have specific time with each one.  I think knowing that there’s going to be a ‘turn’ coming up and it’s in my calendar helps them to feel less anxious or jealous of time spent with the others.
  5. Make Moments Every Day for a Good Night’s Sleep….Let the older child stay up after the younger one goes to sleep for a short, but sweet, bedtime routine.  Spend individual time with them during the day. Focus on quality versus quantity. The goal is to fill your child’s tank up each day even if it’s only for a few minutes with a tickle fight, cooking together, cleaning up together, talking about the day, and more. The more attention you give during the day, the less attention your child will look for at night when they are supposed to be sleeping.No relationship is perfect, and you won’t be able to fill all of your children’s cups completely in every moment of the day. However, with a little effort, we are able to do the best we can!