Day 13 Date Your Child reminds me that I when I spend one-on-one time with each of my little girls, it really gives me a chance to show them individually just how special they are. Remember when you went on dates? How the whole conversation revolved around getting to know the other person better – what they loved, what they didn’t, what made them laugh, what scared them. Your child is no different…we all need to feel like we are the only person in the world sometimes.
The Only Child
I remember when I had only my older daughter, Hannah, and how my world revolved around just her. Our days were filled with tea parties, parks, shopping, walks in the neighborhood, exploring nature, and on and on. She wasn’t yet in school. I didn’t have any other children taking any of my attention.
So really everything we did together was our “special” time..just me and her in all its simplistic joy. Every outing was our own personal “date” so to speak.
And then, I began cheating…with her baby sister. Talk about an affair for the ages!
All of the sudden I was spending a LOT of time with this adorable, snuggly human who kept me up all hours of the night and had a special affinity for a certain private part of my body (hint, hint…they make milk).
So what’s an older sibling to do?
In many situations, this is the perfect storm for outbursts, talking back, temper tantrums and misdirected disdain for the new sibling. But the real problem is that, when a child doesn’t feel “special” anymore, these feelings of sadness, loneliness, and disdain can persist…for years!
And they can not only affect your relationship with your child, but their relationship with their own brother or sister.
Don’t Stress – The Fix is Easy!
The good news here is this: Simply finding ways to spend one-on-one time with each child makes you a better mom and strengthens your relationship.
Once Hazel was born, I knew that scheduling these periodic “dates” were going to be really important.
What I didn’t know was how UNspecial they could be to feel like something amazing to my two girls.
On a recent Saturday, these were our requests from the girls for their one-on-one day:
Hazel only wanted her Daddy to stay home and play babies with her...pure, unadulterated time without phones or distractions. When I got home, I received a very detailed report of how the babies went to the hospital, had a stomach virus but miraculously made it on a plane for their trip to Disney…aka their sister’s bedroom.
Hannah’s request for her time with me? To go to Dollar Tree and pick out some Halloween decorations and then to head to Target to check out their decorations! I spent a total of $10 at Dollar Tree and $0 at Target – we just looked at costumes…and tried a few on =)
So really it takes minimal effort to make your children feel special, loved, like only they exist for a few short hours.
Looking for some other easy date-ideas for you and your kiddos?
- Take in a matinee movie that your son has been dying to see
- Go to the park and swing on every swing and go down every slide with your child
- Find a bike path and explore
- Take your daughter to the Dollar Tree with $5 to spend and go wild!
- Find a Kids Eat Free place and treat your kiddo to lunch or dinner
- Visit the local ice cream shop for a treat
- Go bowling
- Have a Dance-Off…set Pandora to KidzBop and each take your turns busting out your favorite moves
- Paint pottery together
- Play mini-golf
- Go for a walk/run/bike ride around the neighborhood
- Bake together
- Paint each other’s nails!
- Play an epic game of hide-n-seek
- ASK YOUR CHILD WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!
Try a few of these over the next few months…maybe one day a month that includes a few solo hours for just the two of you. I think you will be amazed at how much better you feel as a mom and how much better your relationship with your child will be.
If you have missed any in the series 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom, catch up here:
INTRO TO SERIES:
DAY 1: OUR BEFORE SCHOOL RULE
DAY 2: UNPLUG AND PLUG IN
DAY 3: STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHILD
DAY 4: EMBRACE YOUR CRAZY
DAY 5: BE A REBEL
DAY 6: DO AS I SAY
DAY 7: FIND YOUR VILLAGE
DAY 8: DIVIDE & CONQUER
DAY 9: ONE SMART COOKIE
DAY 11: STOP COMPARING YOUR CHILD
DAY 12: TAKE CARE OF #1
DAY 13: DATE YOUR CHILD
DAY 17: PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES
DAY 18: QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
DAY 22: FAMILY DINNER SHMINNER
DAY 23: REBELLION IS A CRAZY THING
DAY 24: TELL THEM IT WILL GET BETTER
DAY 26: IT’S OKAY TO WISH TODAY WAS OVER
DAY 27: BE A GOOD DAUGHTER
DAY 28: QUIT TRYING TO BE THAT OTHER MOM
DAY 29: YOU CAN’T BUY THEIR HAPPINESS
DAY 30: TELL YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A FAILURE
DAY 31: LEARNING TO LET GO