Monday, February 27, 2012

One-on-One Dates with Children

donut case

|image by Alison Iven|

When I was young, Saturday was doughnut day.  My dad would take turns with each child taking them to the doughnut store to pick out goodies for the rest of the family.  I have such fond memories of doing this with him.  I really loved picking out the bear claws and long johns!  I loved it so much that my husband and I have decided to carry on the tradition with our kids. It's a simple way to spend one-on-one time with a child each week and it's like an adventure!  Since Caden (4 yo) is the only one old enough to care, he gets to go with dad every Saturday.  We've only been doing it for a few weeks and he loves and looks forward to it!

I don't talk a lot about it on this blog, but my husband is VERY busy.  He's working full-time and working on his MBA full-time too.  It's exhausting for all of us, but it's made us realize that it is possible to build a quality relationship with children when time is limited.  I was reading a study (which I can't find a link to now! Sorry!) that stated how it only takes 5 minutes a day with each child to build confidence and trust within them.  These are 5 quality minutes where the child has your undivided attention.

Even though I stay at home with my children most of the time, spending time one-on-one with each child can be a bit of a challenge.  I find I have more success if I carve out time and plan ahead.  Do you have times that you carve out to spend time one-on-one with your children?  What sort of activities do you do?


K.Nicole said...

It was so much easier to plan Mommy Dates when I only had one child, but now with two I find it hard to spend one on one time. Ironically with the introduction of a new child into the mix, my eldest probably needs his one on ones even more. So, I'm happy to read that something as "small" as five minutes can be considered quality time. The last Mommy Date my eldest and I had was in October and we had dinner and dessert (ICE CREAM) together without the hubs or the baby boy. He enjoyed it immensely and he's definitely due for another one soon! The baby (2) still sleeps with us sometimes so he gets a lot of quality time that way.

deb said...

K.Nicole- How fun! I've struggled just as you with two in the mix. Five minutes of one-on-one time/day seems doable and I like that, too. :)

Becky said...

Love this post!! Me and A were just talking about this and how to incorporate one-on-one time with 3 kiddos.
We find that an easy (maybe not the funnest) way to get a little time here and there is to take only one kid with us on errands on Saturdays. It's amazing the conversations you can have in the car on the ride to Lowes :) and how excited they get that they are the "helper" for the day.
I also love the idea a friend gave me. They have 4 girls and one night a week is their date night with their dad. All the other kids go to sleep, but the one girl on her night stays up 10 extra minutes and gets dads undivided attention. I thought this was a great idea and talking to her girls (ranging from 2-10) they each love their daddy-daughter date night.
Great post!!

Hilary Fuller said...

My husband is gone pretty often as well. He leaves before the kids get up and gets home about a half hour before their bedtime if we're lucky. Because of this, he usually puts our oldest to sleep at night. I can hear them laughing and reading and telling stories. They have a tradition of her telling him all about her day and what happened. I know that is serious quality time for both of them.

When I get the chance, I take her on errands with me, just the two of us. She usually gets a special treat (popcorn at Target, sucker at the store) and we get to hang out, just the two of us. My youngest gets time with mommy twice a week when the oldest is at preschool. Also on the weekends when daddy and Quinn do something he's not old enough for we get to hang out together.

I like hearing it's "5 minutes". Because sometimes that's all we have.

deb said...

These are wonderful ideas, Becky! Thank you for sharing! These are great reminders that one-on-one time doesn't have to be anything grand.

deb said...

I love that, Hil! Caden loves laying with daddy before bed because he tells the best stories. Love hearing all your ideas! This is great!