One of the biggest problems we have as a family is that we don’t have enough time during the week to all be together. Often my kids only see their dad for a few minutes in the evening or sometimes not at all except for the weekend. My husband is very conscious of this and knows how important it is to spend quality time with the kids. As someone who is always deliberately trying to be a better parent, he seeks out opportunities to spend one on one time with each of our kids. By doing this, he not only deepens his relationship with them, but he also cultivates a rapport with them that helps them want to be better. He has been a great example to me of a father who parents with purpose… striving to create positive connections with each kid and get to know them individually.
Some simple ways that he spends one on one time with our kids include…
- Inviting them to come help with community service activities. Recently he and my son worked together to collect trash at a local Emergency Preparedness Fair.
- Taking them on father/son and father/daughter camping trips.
- Making belgian waffles on Saturday mornings together while everyone else sleeps in.
- Working on projects in the yard or garage and inviting one child to join in.
- Reading stories at bedtime and having special playtime with individual kids before bed.
- Taking them to sporting events or classes.
- Having one of them run Saturday errands with him to get stuff to work on a special project.
The most important tip I’ve learned from him is that you don’t necessarily have to schedule special time with your kids, you need to make each moment that you do spend with them special and make each child feel special. There is a reason that my kids run to the door and light up when they hear their dad’s voice when he gets home. You can make a difference in the life of a child with just a few minutes of focused attention and love each day. The key is to keep the time simple, make sure it happens often, and make sure it is distraction free.
As we are getting ready to add another addition to our family next month, I am hoping to use this post (and my husband) as a reminder to me of how important it is for us to spend one on one time with each of our kids as we move through a stressful, yet exciting new time in our life with a new baby arriving.
How do you spend time with your kids individually? How you make the time you have together meaningful and special?
Kristina is the author of Toddler Approved, where she helps parents capitalize on teachable moments in everyday life and motivates them to discover, create, and learn with their children. She is a mom of a toddler and a preschooler (and has a baby on the way!) and is a former Special Education teacher who is constantly learning how to adapt to and enjoy the developmental milestones her children hit. When she’s not crafting, Kristina runs a Mommy & Me book club, volunteers at her son’s preschool, throws kid’s craft parties, and travels with her family. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on Facebook and Pinterest.
Kim’s “Spin On It”
Thank you so much Kristina for sharing ways to give one on one attention to each child. Especially with a baby one on the way at Amanda’s house and three busy kids in both of our homes, we realize how important it is to make those efforts to see each child for themselves and validate how much we treasure, love and support them in their childhood. It’s those simple moments in time that build confidence and love in their hearts to create memories that they hopefully will cherish forever. Recently my husband has been spending time with my 6 year old daughter by taking her to the library to check out books on the weekends, it’s a special time they both look forward too. Plus he’s the bedtime storyteller so that is another time they spend individual time together. It’s hard when parents work long hours getting in those moments of time together. I’ve been casually inviting my son out to lunch when I know little sister is napping so we can spend time alone and walking with my daughter to school in the mornings. I know there are lots of other hidden moments I haven’t thought out. I can’t wait to see our readers responses to your question of how you make time together meaningful and special with your children!