Inside: Learn a few easy tricks that will allow you to spend one on one time with your kids when you have more than one.
You already know exactly how to be a perfect mom.
….until you have your first kid.
And then, it all goes flying out the window. At warp speed.
All the planning, all the mental notes of what not to do.
There’s no turning back now, so you keep going.
When you look back on the first few years, you realize you did way better than you expected.
Now you know, with baby number two, you’re bound to be a pro.
I got this, you tell yourself.
…it happens again.
Just when you figured out exactly how to parent your first kid, child #2 comes along as their polar opposite.
Now here you are, with multiple kids, relentlessly treading the water, just trying to keep your head above water.
How do you manage these kids? How do you find time to have a special bond with each kid? How can you have one on one time with your kids when there’s only one of you?
It sounds like a losing battle.
Surprisingly, it’s not…
Simple Ways To Spend One On One Time With Your Kids
With two boys, four years apart, I’ve had to come up with some simple ways we could all not only get along but enjoy each other’s company.
Read through these tips, think about your own kids and figure out which ideas are best for your family.
Plan Parent-Child Dates
Depending on how much time you have and how many kids you have, you’ll have to determine a realistic schedule that will work for you.
A once a month date with mom or dad (or both, if you can) will go a long way to strengthening the bond with your child.
If cost is a concern, make it a free date. Go to the library, play at the park or go camping in the backyard while the siblings stay at Grandmas.
Don’t forget to get them excited about your next outing by letting them plan the activity or building anticipation before the date.
Find An Activity Everyone Loves
You might be scratching your head or saying yeah, right, there’s no activity every kid in my house likes.
Well, you might be right. Or, you might be surprised at who will want to join in if you just try.
When your children see you having fun, genuine fun, it will lure even the most rebellious kids in the house out. They’ll want to see why you’re having so much fun. And, eventually, if they can join you.
In our house, this often looks like story time or art, but it could be sports, games or anything else the majority of your household likes. The most important point is to invite all the kids, then allow yourself to get really into the activity, so no one will want to miss out!
Assign A Child To Each Day Of The Week
Unless you have more than 7 kids, I think this is a genius way of making sure your kids feel like they have one on one time with you.
All you do is assign your child to one day of the week. You don’t need to let them know which day it is, or even that you’ve assigned them each a day.
When the day rolls around, you make a mental note (or if you’re like me and can’t remember to even brush your teeth in the morning, you set a phone alarm) to treat them extra special. A few of the things I like to do are:
- do a chore for them
- slip a note into their lunchbox
- read one more book with them before bedtime
- make them their favorite meal for dinner
- give them extra hugs and kisses
- play that game or do that activity you’ve been saying no to all week
The point is, you can do anything you want that will help you feel closer to them.
Use The Everyday Moments To Connect With Your Kids
I wrote an entire post on how to maximize the ordinary moments with your children doing things you already do every day.
Make Younger Children The Helpers
When your kids start to become school-aged, there’s a lot of activities they want to do that young toddlers or babies can’t participate in.
Instead of only doing things the younger kids can do, do what your older ones want to do and make the sibling your helper.
This tactic has gotten me through many board games, coloring, art activities or outside play. It’s not as easy as it sounds because, in reality, it means more work for you.
But the payoff is awesome -you get the upside of feeling connected to all of your kids, not just the young ones.
Tap Into Your Children’s Daily Rhythms
Inevitably, each child has their own rhythm of daily activities.
If you have an early bird, spend that time in the morning with him, when it’s just the two of you.
Have a kid who likes to stay up late? Let him stay up just 10 or 15 minutes later so you two can have some one on one time together.
Did You Notice One Thing?
There’s no mention of extravagance.
No elaborate celebrations.
No 3-hour activities to take up a huge chunk of time.
No expensive dream vacations.
Those are all good things and I’d encourage you to do them if you can, but they won’t be the things that have the greatest impact.
It’s about the simple things.
Those daily, repeated moments are what your children will remember.
They might not be able to pick out the specific activities you did together, but they’ll remember the way they felt.
They’ll remember the way they still feel.
They’ll know Mom is always here for them.
You love them. You care about them. You’re invested in them.
What About You?
I know some of you are sitting there thinking, “yeah, that’s great for you, but what about me and my situation?”.
Well, I can’t possibly address every situation, but if you can’t see how these ideas for one on one time with your kids can help you, please let me know why in the comments below and I’ll try to brainstorm with you some ways to help you connect with your kids.
Friday 30th of June 2017
Hi Sam, Start by asking each child what he/she would like to do. When my almost 31 years old was very young, we had a special list. In addition, he would have a stick figure of a man and a woman indicating if he wished to do it with mom or dad or both. Regards from Barbara, Israel.
Regards. He would mark the activities he wished to repeat with a smiley
Tuesday 4th of July 2017
Hi Barbara! That sounds so fun. I love that you gave him so many options.