Some of our dear friends that we seek wisdom from when it comes to parenting encouraged us a few years back to start spending time with our kids separately and make it a priority. We loved the idea of doing “dates” with them. Little did we realize how big of a difference it would make on our children and on us until we tried it. And let me tell you it has made a world of difference for our family as a whole. Since then we now strive to take our two boys on separate “dates” at least twice a month so that way we can switch off.
What are the benefits of one-on-one dates?
It makes our kids individually feel important. When we designate time to spend alone with our children separately we have a perfect opportunity to make them feel loved, important, and known. It also makes a world of difference because we learn so much more about our children when we are alone with them. We learn about their favorite things, their personality traits, what they love to do, their strengths and weaknesses, and these opportunities gives us a better appreciation and understanding for each of our children as individuals.
Do one-on-one dates help with behavior?
Oh my goodness, YES! Just recently our boys were both acting out. Like most four year olds it didn’t phase me but I had a hunch that it could have been because they were both craving and needing one-on-one attention. Life has been busy for our family so I knew that it was time to take them out on dates. And when we did it greatly affected the way they act and behave. It helps their attitude and they act out less frequently. Don’t ask me how, but I suppose quality time just has a way of changing things just like it can in your marriage and other relationships.
How do you decide where to go and what to do with each child?
Our boys are the complete opposite so no one thing works for them individually. It took trial and error. Sometimes I will start by asking where they would like to go, what they would like to do, and then we try to keep it cost effective. My husband and I try to do dates with each of our children that match their interests. For example, recently I took my oldest Makai on a date and we did some of his favorite things. Makai loves to read and make up stories. He loves the experience of being at the library so we went there and took our time reading and exploring. Afterwards we went to get ice-cream because what kid doesn’t love ice-cream? And lastly I surprised him and we went mining for rocks at a local rock mining place near our house. I new this would be up his alley especially because we just bought him a new rock and minerals book.
My husband, Robbie took our youngest, Josiah out too. They did some of his favorite things like get milkshakes, walk through the comic book store/ other stores, and he picked out something special to bring back for me and his brother. Every time we take Josiah out alone he always insists on buying something special for all of us. It’s amazing to watch and see how much he cares about other people. This important quality would be easily missed if we didn’t take the time to be alone with him!
Taking our kids on one-on-one dates can be inexpensive and fun! Sometimes it’s just the park and $1 ice-cream at Chickfila or the movies and a short walk but the time together makes a lasting impression on their little hearts and especially on ours.
**Today I am linking up with my Charleston friend, Keri for #mamasharesmonday! It’s a link up specifically for moms to sharing encouraging posts and moments in motherhood! You should go check it out here. It’s a great way to connect with other mamas!