Working full-time doesn’t leave a lot of room for play. And if you have a family, obviously the number one thing you want to do is spend time with them. If you have more than one child, trying to squeeze in some one-on-one time can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas to help make sure you spend time bonding with each of your children; getting to know them, encouraging them, and reminding them that just because you are not available 24/7 they are the most important people to you.
Seize Opportunities for 1-on-1 Time When they Present Themselves
I needed a new pair of shoes, so I snagged my second daughter, told her to get ready we were going out. We spent a couple of hours trying on shoes, laughing, poking fun, talking, sharing and just having a great time — plus I not only found the pair of shoes I needed, I found two more adorable pair that came home with us too.
Plan weekly time. Every week I have to go grocery shopping, if I don’t the natives get cranky. Mom there’s nothing to eat. We’re out of milk. We’re out of yogurt. All we have is peanut butter and jelly, I hate peanut butter and jelly. So every week I take a different child with me to the grocery store. It’s an opportunity to spend some time together, to have fun, and make memories.
Monthly meetings. Before I was working, we used to have weekly meetings where we’d spend some time working on a small project together, maybe read, but we’d talk about their week, see how they were doing with their school work, talk about their strengths, weaknesses, and we’d make goals for the upcoming week. The truth is, I’d love to do these meeting weekly still, but it isn’t practical, so we do them once a month. They are important, so important they go on my calendar. Each meeting is anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the child and what they need from me at that time. They come into my office and sit on the other side of my desk, just like a client would (they LOVE it!) they bring their binders and school notebooks, their list of goals, and anything else they want to show me and talk about. It’s an exceptional time to dig in deep to their souls and talk about the things that really matter to them.
Daily Walks. (Full-disclaimer — I don’t do this in the summer… it’s too hot here in Texas, but the weather is finally cooling down so daily walks will be happening again this week!) This is something I started when I was pregnant with Madie (she’s 20 months now). I wanted/needed the exercise so I’d alternate which child got to go with me. I like to walk in the evenings, so after dinner some lucky child gets to hangout with me. Sometimes I do round up the troops and they all go, but when I’m 9 months pregnant, that can be exhausting!
What are some of your favorite ways to spend time with your kiddos?