One on One Time
In modern times it may feel impossible to find a spare moment to spend one on one time with our kids. For many of us, spending time alone with our kids whom we love dearly is exactly what we want but we find ourselves pulled in several directions with work, house projects, maintaining a social life or driving the parent bus from activity to activity to name a few. Undoubtedly, this attention is exactly what they need to feel loved and filled and it is our job to make time for them. The juggle is real, but we adults are capable of so much. Prioritizing the ones we love the most should be a positive bullet point on our never ending to-do list. Twenty minutes is all is takes. Pencil it in or go on your google calendar and carve out a small chunk of time...right now!
There are a few tell tale signs that help us to know when our kids are in need of attention and require us to be flexible. When something stressful is coming up like a big test or a championship game. First thing in the morning when they are sluggish. To some this may look like they are just tired whereas they just might need a quick moment of connection to get them moving. Most of us probably have a good idea of the most common sign of needing this special time...our favorite...misbehavior!
Yes, preschoolers misbehave. That's part of what they do because of their age and where they are developmentally during the young years. That said, our parenting radar should be on high alert when they are misbehaving out of character. Like us, our kids have a love tank that needs to be filled. Often times when they misbehave, it is as if they are saying "I need you and need to spend time with you."
These times may be challenging, but hang in there and rest assured that giving 10-20 minutes of your time will do the trick. Get down on their level and give them your full attention. Put the cell phone and distractions aside. Don't attempt to give them your attention while juggling the laundry and dishes. You'll notice how quickly they bounce back and everyone will be thankful for the time spent together.
This individual time will strengthen your bond. There is a difference in the dynamics of being in a group versus one on one time where your child has your undivided attention. You may notice that they share something with you that they might not share in a group setting. As previously mentioned, that good old attention getting behavior that drives us crazy will fade into the background when you are filling their love tanks with admiration.
Before wrapping up, there is one very important idea to consider. Spending one on one time with your kids may be the only way to truly get to know them. Usually there is a sibling or two who does most of the talking and entertaining. At the dinner table for example...they always come through with a funny joke or interesting topic. Perhaps you have a child who tends to be more introverted or quiet and isn't interested in competing for your attention. Finding time alone together may be all that is needed for him to break out of his shell or share something with you that's been on his mind.
We will leave you with some simple ideas to kick start the creative juices:
- Cook dinner with just one child
- Read books together
- Go for a walk around the block
- Play a favorite game
- Visit the library
- Go out for ice cream
- Attend sports or extra curricular activities with just one child
- When in doubt, ask your child what they would like to do!
There's only one thing more precious than our time and that's who we spend it on!
As always, we appreciate your feedback and ideas.
Together we are a village.