Spending quality time with our children is a given when you’re trying to be an effective parent, but it’s possible to spend time with them without giving them our attention. That’s why it’s important that we spend some one-on-one time with them, especially when we have more than one child.
And we’re not talking just father-daughter or mother-son dates, we’re talking about spending quality time with every child, boy or girl. According to ValuesParenting, giving your child your undivided attention for a period of time will improve your relationship, especially if you do it regularly. Start going on dates with your kids while they are still young, and continue until well into their teenage years to ensure that your relationship remains strong as they grow up.
If your own parents hardly ever spent one-on-one time with you as a child, then you might not know where to begin. ValuesParenting recommends doing these things to make your time with your child more rewarding.
1. Schedule your date
If you can go on a date with your child once a week, that’s awesome, but making it monthly might be more doable for both of your schedules. To help you both eagerly anticipate your date, set a date in advance and write it down on a calendar. If you have more than one child, make sure that you schedule time with each one of your children so nobody feels neglected or jealous.
2. Focus and listen
Ask questions that help them open up. Ask them how they’re feeling instead of just asking what they did with their day or week. Instead of lecturing or giving advice, try just listening.
Go to the next page to read more tips about spending one-on-one time with your child.
3. Let them decide what you’ll do
By letting your child have some say in the planning of your date, you’re allowing him to “feel real ownership in the date and in the relationship,” says ValuesParenting.
4. Compliment your child
Build up your child’s self-esteem by noticing the things does right. Too often, we give feedback only when they’ve done something wrong, and this is the perfect time to encourage and empower them.
5. If you need more time, make more time
If your child is going through something, you might need to spend a longer amount of time together. You might want to take them on a trip. It could be a whole-day excursion, or even a weekend away. This time will allow both of you to communicate and sort things out.
6. Keep a journal
Note down the details of your mommy or daddy dates. You can keep movie tickets, receipts from restaurants, a wildflower, and so forth. This will give both of you something to help remember these precious moments together in the future.
READ: 5 Ways fathers can teach their children about healthy relationships
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