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I can so clearly recall the feelings I used to have about our household. It felt like I was grasping at straws trying to hold it all together. I felt pulled in a million directions but none were really where I felt I should be. I struggled to manage our family and all of the unique personalities that made it.
Since that time, one system that’s become incredibly important in our home is spending one-on-one time with each of our children. Having special time with my children where we embrace an activity of their choosing really puts a smile on my face. I love connecting with each member of my family individually and really getting to know who they are and what they love. The best part of all, is that I can see and feel the joy in their heart when they have my complete and undivided attention.
With some help and the implementation of what we call “Special Time” our family and household is now functioning more like a team and less like a circus.
Why we do this
A few years back, it was becoming clear to us that our house was not always the calm atmosphere we’d envisioned creating for our kids. I was at my wits end trying to manage all of the family dynamics in our household. I just didn’t know how to approach certain behavioral issues with my kids.
We needed to acknowledge our own shortcomings in our family dynamic. We didn’t have bad kids – we had kids who were craving our undivided attention. Giving our kids our undivided attention is no longer difficult because we have a plan on hand and it has become part of our family systems and routines.
We also know that as our kids get older, the need for connection will become even more crucial. If we have established a close and connected one-on-one relationship with each of our children, as they go through middle school and teen struggles – they will feel safe and secure leaning on us because they are already used to having our undivided attention on a regular basis.
How we got started
We got started with adding one-on-one time with each of our kids to our daily schedules when we first began exploring Positive Parenting Solutions. One of the modules they provided that immediately caught our eye was the Mind Body and Soul Time. This is their video training module that goes over the specific steps you need to follow to get started with implementing parent/child one-on-one time with each of your kids. You know I love having an organized plan, so this was right up my alley!
With our kids, we call this “Special Time”. When we first started, we usually try to do it 10-15 minutes every night before bedtime. Each of our kids would start with one parent and at the end of that time, we switched. My hubby is a firefighter and gone for 2-3 days at a time. We keep him involved in this through the use of FaceTime. The ultimate recommendation is 1-2 times a day for 10-15 minutes everyday. For our family, 10-15 minutes before bedtime was what worked best. We shoot for having special time with each of our kiddos each night, but as they get older and involved in more sports and activities, we’ve had to become more flexible with this. Now, shoot for a half hour or an hour if we’ve needed to skip a few days.
Some of our Favorite Activities
Activities will definitely vary based on your kids’ interests and ages. The activities will also likely change over time as they grow, mature, and their interests change. Another factor in choosing activities might be weather. Some of our favorite activities won’t be possible in rain or winter – but might be the top pic all summer long.
I love to let my kids help with the process of choosing when we spend our time together and how we spend our time together. We usually play different board games. Some of our favorite are Uno, Monopoly, Guesstures, or Charades. We love board games! We also love playing cards, drawing, playing with toys, or imaginative play. Sometimes, we’ll even play a game on their iPad together.
Here are some additional one-on-one activity ideas your kids might enjoy:
- Building LEGOS
- Playing basketball, soccer, or baseball
- Reading together
- Coloring, drawing, or painting
- Writing stories together
How you can Implement more one-on-one time in your home
Getting started with establishing a plan for one-on-one parent/child time can be super easy and fun! Pick a time and get it on your calendar, get your child involved with choosing how they’d like to spend their time, eliminate distractions for you and your child (put your phone down!), and get started!
Our “Special Time” has created such positive change in our home. It’s our job as parents to set our kids up for every possible success. Our goal as parents is to raise kids that are well prepared for adulthood. There are so many ways we can prepare them for what is to come in their future but one simple way is by creating a home atmosphere where they feel seen, understood and connected.
We do this by spending one-on-one time with each of our children. By doing this, we know we are teaching them valuable lessons they can bring with them into their adult lives.