Having one-on-one time with my kids is important to me. There are 3 of them and my husband works full-time and then some, we have no nanny or regular babysitter, so it is a challenge, but so worth the effort!
Having special time dedicated to one child helps me learn about who they are as individuals, shows them how important they are to me, gives them undivided attention, and is a lot of fun! I get to do a puzzle of the United States with my 5 year old without having to stop every 20 seconds to rebuild part of the country that my toddler has bulldozed through. I get to play dollhouse with my 3 year-old without her older brother telling us how to play with them and without my 1 year-old stealing the little dolls. I really think this regular alone time with Mommy helps my children be more patient when they do have to share my attention!
So, how to do it? Remember I am all about good advice but one of my pet peeves is somebody telling you it is a good idea to do something without telling me how, like when an allergist told me to keep my then 2 year-old son’s arm still for 15 minutes during his allergy skin test. How exactly do you propose I do that Doctor?
My oldest gets at least 15-20 min. each day with me after school when I send his younger sister and brother to play outside on our patio where I can see them through the window. He and I look over his papers from school, talk about his day, and he has a snack and does his homework. He also gets alone time by going on errands with Mom or Dad over the weekends or when we take him to friend’s birthday parties where only he is invited.
My 3 year-old gets about 20 minutes of alone time with mom where we play dolls and read books before her naptime after I’ve already put my 1 year-old down for a nap and while my 5 year-old is at school. Somedays I will feed my toddler early and put him down for an early nap so my 3 year-old and I can have a tea party lunch just the two of us. She also gets the alone time with a parent during errands or birthday parties where only she is invited.
I get alone time with my youngest the 2 mornings each week that both his older sibs. are in school. Now, I just need to work on it being more quality-sitting-on-the-floor-playing time, rather than he-is-sitting-in–the-cart-while-I-shop time!
My husband and I occasionally have dates with our kids individually on the weekends when the other 2 kids will stay home with the other parent. Also, we’ve allowed one child to stay up 30 minutes past bedtime to have one-on-one time with Mom & Dad playing a game.
Do you have one-on-one time with your kids and if so, how do you manage it?
Previous Works for Me Wednesday Posts:
The Privilege Chart
The Capture Monster
Music to Get Kids to Sleep
Ways to Save Money
Before They Leave Home
Great Children's Books
Find more Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer.