As you may know, My husband and I have four children of various ages. They range from a teenager to under one year. It seems like the norm these days is to have smaller families, so it always surprises people when I tell them how many children we have. I feel blessed to have a house full of kids. However, having a large family comes with its challenges.
With such large age gaps, each one of my children has their own interests, likes, and dislikes. This can make it difficult to please everyone at the same time! Even so, it is important for my husband and I to spend quality time together as a family. Prior to the pandemic, we love to do lots of traveling together, even if it’s only for a weekend getaway. We also take advantage of every-day opportunities to spend time together like walks around our neighborhood, day trips to the beach, family dinners, and movie nights. We’ve always wanted our children to grow up understanding the value in family time.
The Importance Of One on One Time With Kids
While I make it a top priority to spend quality time together as a family, it is more difficult to consistently find time that’s one on one with each of our children. Balancing our time between work, everyday house maintenance, family time, and making each of our children feel special in their own way can be a challenge to say the least. However, it’s so crucial that we spend time with each child individually. Here are some reasons why it’s so important:
It encourages your child’s talents and interests
Even if you have children around the same ages, each one has their individual passions; things they love and feel confident doing. Spending one on one time with your child allows you to explore these talents together. They will feel supported by you in pursuing the things they love in the future.
You get to know their personality
In a family of four, personalities differ. It’s amazing how children raised by the same parents can be so very different. One child may be super outgoing, while another is reserved and more of an observer. Spending quality time together starting from a young age will help you better understand your child, which can help you when faced with disagreements later on in your relationship.
A special bond is formed
I believe that every child wants to have a special relationship with their parents. Growing up with siblings can be fun, but every kid wants individualized attention as well. Above all, one on one time can help create a special bond between a parent and child. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t necessarily matter what you are doing together, but rather just that you are doing it at all. Individual time spent with just the two of you can spark engaged conversation and make your child feel special and heard. This can have real positive lasting effects on your parent child relationship.
10 Easy Ways To Spend One on One Time with Kids
1. Run errands
We are all busy, which is why I love fitting quality time in while I run errands. If you have multiple children, it can be fun for them to run errands with you all by themselves without their brothers and sisters by their side. Driving in the car and walking the grocery aisles can be perfect times to have engaged conversations.
2. Read books
Some of my best childhood memories are filled with reading books with my parents. This can be fun with any age. For young adults, read a chapter or two from a novel together each night before bed. This can lead to conversations about the book, and may lead to you learning more about their personal life.
3. Go to a sporting event
If you have a child interested in sports, or a fan of a particular team, a sporting event is a fun way to spend a whole day or evening together. Being the only sibling to go will make them feel extra special.
4. Play in the backyard
For those days that you can’t, or don’t want to, leave the house, head to the backyard for one on one time. Playing with a ball, on a swing set, or even gardening are all simple ways you can spend time together. It can also be a fun way for you to let out your inner child and have some fun.
5. Date nights
Plan a special day each month for daddy/daughter or mommy/son date nights. You can do something special at home like paint nails or build a race track, or go out to dinner or a movie. Regardless of what you do, date nights will become a special time that your child will always remember fondly.
6. Extracurricular activities
If your child is involved in an extracurricular activity such as ballet, gymnastics, or guitar lessons, accompany them without their other siblings (if possible). This will allow you time to and from the activity for your child to tell you all about what they are learning.
7. Watch a movie
Watching a movie together one on one will make your son or daughter feel so loved. If you aren’t able to go to the theatre, make it extra special at home by building a blanket fort, making popcorn, and staying up a little past their regular bedtime.
Baking and cooking are excellent opportunities to spend quality time with your child. You can even have your child pick the recipe and go grocery shopping for the ingredients together.
9. Do a craft
Doing a craft is a good activity for your younger children. It will make them feel special and accomplished. Head to Pinterest to find endless ideas of arts and crafts you can do with supplies you already have laying around your house.
Exercising is a way you can incorporate one on one time into every day! Not only will you be spending quality time with your child, but you’ll also be encouraging them to implement healthy habits into their life. Go for a walk, a swim, or do an at-home exercise class in your living room!
As you can see, there are many realistic ways to plan time to spend with your children. You can easily fit it into your daily routine and still give them your undivided attention. The benefits of spending time one on one together will be long lasting. Let me know in the comments how you love to spend one on one time with your children!