‘One on one time’ means, spending quality time with just one child, making time to connect, giving them personal attention and filling their emotional bucket. It has proved to be the best parenting tools. When a child is out of sorts, struggling, pushing buttons, or losing it left and right – even if you can’t figure what is going on and how to fix it – understand that “one on one” time will help to communicate, and deal with issues before they become overwhelming for the family.
Apart from being a great parenting tool, it’s also enjoyable. I like my children (even when they are driving me crazy), I like spending time with them especially without the interruption of others.
The more kids you have the more important one on one time is. So start making that calendar. Start planning that ‘Mom and son date night’, and that day out for your daughter. It doesn’t have to take lots of preparation, cost money, or even take hours of your time. It can be just as valuable in small snippets, as part of daily life.
5 ways to spend 1-on-1 time with our children, despite other commitments.
1) Take Your Child’s help.
No one said one on one time had to be all outdoor fun and playing board games, and just because you really need to make dinner or do the grocery shopping doesn’t mean you don’t have time for a little quality time with your child.
One of my favorite one on one time activities is to take one child with me to do the grocery shopping. I get a helper, we get uninterrupted time to talk while we drive, they get the perk of choosing what food we buy, and we enjoy time just the two of us.
Cooking meals together is another good one on one time. Folding the washing works too, even if you are the one doing it and putting it away while your child sits and chats next to you, that still counts as one on one time.
2) It Doesn’t take Lot of Time.
Spending ten minutes with each child at bed time is my secret parenting weapon. I have a chance to check in with each child, talk about the good stuff from that day, and the not so good stuff, and just generally have a snuggle and reconnect. I know bedtime can be hectic but for us ten minutes each night is time well spent.
Look for other snippets of time during the day – a few minutes snuggle on the couch, ten minutes outside throwing a ball, a quick board game together… none of these things take long but they all add up.
3) Driving Time is the Best.
When there isn’t much quiet time to talk, driving my children somewhere is the perfect time for a talk. On the way to an appointment, a quick trip into town, on the way to school or an activity or play date, there is something about sitting in the warm, quiet car together that always gets my kids chatting. Or sometimes we just turn up a favorite song really loud and sing at the top of our lungs!
4) Family members Help.
Sometimes, when I can see that one of my children really needs to be looked after and there is just no room in my schedule to manage it, I bring in reinforcements. A day with a grandparents or favorite aunt/uncle can help fill your child’s bucket.
Even though it’s not the same as being with a parent, but it does have it’s own advantages – having adults other that their parents that my kids trust and feel connected to is important and something I want to encourage, and a grandparents always know how to make kids feel special.
5) Just Do It!
We know this one on one time is important, we know it has benefits for all of us, so sometimes, you just need to make it happen. Make it a priority, find time in your schedule, mark it on the calendar and just do it.