Something my husband and I have always been grateful for and tried our best to be intentional about is spending one-on-one time with our kids.
When my youngest was born, I was a stay at home mom of a three year old. I was a bit apprehensive about how life would change when my second was born, but oh so excited.
There is a lot of talk about transition when a new baby enters the family and it’s for good reason. My daughter did incredibly well with the transition into big-sisterhood, but she missed her mama, too.
I realized that I also really missed my one-on-one time with her, so to help with that, I took a page from my husband’s book (who had been taking her on daddy-daughter “dates” and turning Saturdays into “Dad-urday” for years).
We started doing monthly mommy-daughter dates and it was remarkable how much they made her feel seen and cherished. Then, when she started full day kindergarten we went through another transition and again we leaned on those “dates” as a special time to re-connect.
Nearly four years later we are still going strong with prioritizing one-on-one time with both of our kids, as our son now does solo parent time as well.
Both my husband and I try to take each of our kids out once a month (of course, it’s not always do-able, but we do our best to make it happen). We have seen it as a great way to help give them individualized attention and encourage conversations.
I had a mentor tell me years ago that her husband took her daughter on “dates” when she was little and it paved the way for a lot of meaningful conversations and trust as she went into high school and faced bigger challenges.
My hope is that this is one more way we can lay a foundation for our kids to know they can trust us and help them feel they have our support. I also love that at their young ages it creates time for them to try something new or explore new interests.
Some fun one-on-one ideas to try with your kids:
Visit a rock climbing gym
I am not a huge fan of heights, but my son is a go-go-go type who loves climbing. Recently my son and my husband have started bonding over this new common interest. You can rent shoes and it’s not too expensive, plus it’s great for those super hot summer days when it’s hard to be outside.
You could get as extravagant as you’d like with this one, from going to get your nails done or fun colored extensions in your hair (my daughter and I have done both). But our most common rendition of this is to buy sheet face masks from Target and paint our nails while moisturizing our skin.
Movie night (or day)
We love going to see a movie on dates, especially with our oldest, because it is really fun for her to pick out something and not have to worry about if it is ok for her little brother. Sometimes if one of us takes one kiddo out for an outing, we rent a movie on Amazon and pop some popcorn at home.
Paint your own pottery or painting
There are so many fun little “paint your own” studios and it is a really sweet way to get creative and be able to have good conversations while working with your hands.
Try a new park or go on a nature walk
We love getting outdoors with our kids and try to think of new things to get them excited as well. Going to a new park always perks their ears up! It’s also really fun to make up a nature walk scavenger hunt and teach the kids about the nature around us.
Go out for ice cream
This seems like a no-brainer, because who doesn’t love the occasional sweet treat?! We like to go sit inside a cute froyo or ice cream shop and load up on toppings.
I truly think that kids are happy with doing just about anything as long as we are intentional with our time.
Sometimes we spend money on our dates and sometimes we don’t!