- Why kids need individual quality time
- Ideas on how to provide that time
Dave read an article awhile ago saying that 93% of the time the author had with his parents was over by the time he left high school. Parents need to make quality one-on-one time with of their kids while they are with you before they leave home.
The best quality time is accomplished when you make one-on-one time with each of your children.
Ideas on how to make quality time
You will never FIND time for anything. If you want it, you must MAKE it.
Be deliberate. Set uninterrupted times of your day, like story time or dinner time, to focus on the kids and not take phone calls or texts.
If you are planning on doing something you like to do, invite one of your kids to join you. Dave really enjoys gaming and often asks one or both of the boys to join him.
Maybe set aside one day where you slow down and give kids some one-on-one time. Amy likes Sundays because she’s not juggling yard work, chores, homework, errands, etc… That’s a day she slows down and takes a break. She rotates kids each week and takes one hour spending half of the time doing something the child chooses like going for a walk, baking, playing a board game, or sewing and then they spend the other half working on cub scouts or other goal accomplishing activity.
Just try to be intentional finding time to focus on your kids.
Dave will sometimes take one of the kids with him to run errands. He enjoys that one on one time with the kids. It’s not formal, but it is quality.
Car trips can be a great place to talk with your kids. Sitting side by side is great communication positioning. Plus your child is stuck with you and can’t just run off to play with friends.
Dates can be a great time to just listen to your kids. Let them do most of the talking and focus on what they are saying. It will mean a lot to them.
Formal dates are another great opportunity to give your kids quality time. Mitchells take their kids out for lunch on their birthday. The child loves having both parents there for just him/her.
Amy’s sister and brother-in-law plan dates to go bowling or see a movie or attend a football game with their children, one-on-one.
Though this was not mentioned in the podcast, an idea Amy heard from a friend, was that they let their child stay up an extra half hour on the day of the month that is the same number as their birthday. So if their birthday is on the 7th of July, for example, then they get to stay up later and spend an extra half hour with their parents on the 7th of every month.
Amy does Sunday dates at home most of the year but takes her kids out at the end of summer for a date. While they are out, they grab a treat and the kids often talk about what they enjoyed most about the summer or how they feel about going back to school.
Mitchells also take their kids Christmas shopping in December, one at a time, where the child spends their own money buying presents for others.
An even more formal one-on-one time with your kids could be taking them on a business trip with you as they get older. Those will definitely be memorable.
Amy tells a story of when she was in high school and went to talk to her dad at work. While she was with him in his office, the phone rang. She thought he would need to take a second to answer it, but he told her that she was there first. He’d take care of her and could always take care of that business call later. That example showed Amy that her dad loved and valued her, and that she was a priority to him.
Making time for your children and making them a high priority is something they will never forget. Parents need to make sure they show them how important they are.
In all of your organizing, make sure you MAKE time for your kids.
The image in this post is “Take My Hand” by Stephan Hochhaus. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephanski/6749689975
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