The Importance of One-On-One Time with Your Child
We date our mates to learn about them, to teach them about us, and to take time out of our everyday lives to focus on our relationships. Past sheer enjoyment, one-on-one “dates” with our kids are for the same purposes; to teach, learn about, and cherish our children.
- Be patient, kind, and understanding.
- Say, “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
- Open doors for others.
- Share your heart with the world.
- Make eye contact when someone speaks to you.
- Don’t speak while you are eating.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze.
- Practice kindness.
Over and over, we find ourselves telling our children what to do, and with good reason; it is our job to teach our kids and provide them guidance. We need to give them direction – clearly and consistently. The only hitch is, our actions are a much more effective teaching tool. Dates are wonderful opportunities to spend time with just one of our children at a time to teach them with our actions.
Try these fun activities:
A dance lesson – Whether you use a dance game, a live recital, the theater, or YouTube, get in step with one another. Teach your little one, regardless of age, the life lesson of practice, patience, and fun!
A dinner date – You can go out or stay in. Either way, a meal is a lesson in itself. Teach your child to get up, dress up, and show up. Bonus for practicing manners!
A walk in the park – Dates are not just for food and dancing. Lace up with your little one for a walk-and-talk. Science has proven that, physiologically, males bond more easily with physical activities!
A date is a fun way to enjoyably learn about your child. Your son or daughter will gladly show you things they don’t even have words to communicate yet. They will more than likely relish the opportunity to chatter out some new words, share their woes about friends and foes at school, or tell you stories about sorority or fraternity stunts. Regardless of age, they will disclose their inner longings and give you clear indicators about where you stand in their heart. So, no matter what kind of date you go on, be prepared to bring a few good questions.
Here are some tips for date night communication:
- Ask open-ended questions, like this perennial favorite, “What was the best part of your day today?” or “What do you think about that trade with the [favorite NFL team]?”
- For smaller kids, sing songs. Singing develops language skills and is a high energy way to communicate.
- Story telling is also a low-pressure way of sharing. Try starting a story and asking your child to finish the tale for you. This can get funnier as your child gets older.
Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.
-Richard L. Evans
We can teach our children and learn from our children every day. The factors that set dates apart is that they are scheduled, deliberate, and special occasions. So, set aside time with your child for some one-on-one fun. This time should be calendared, in advance, for just one parent to spend with one child. Do not tack this time on to something else, or treat it as something to check off of your laundry list of things to do. Eliminate all outside distractions and zoom in on the heart of whatever activity you are embarking upon; talking to skip races. Make it a big deal. This time will be as precious as you make it, so approach it with excitement. This time is as precious as your blossoming relationship with your child. Make the most of it, and most of all ENJOY!
Date Night Check List
- Plan in advance
- Involve your child
- Turn off all outside distractions
- Schedule, schedule, schedule
- HAVE FUN!
Photo credit, Walk In The Park: Ashley Sisk Photography
Tags: cherish, children, closeness, Communication with Children, daily mom, dancing, date night, dinner, family, grow, helpful mom resources, kid's, learn, manners, night out, parenting, quality time, Spending Time, teaching, tips
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