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Monday, December 8, 2008

Finding One on One Time

I have four wonderful kids and one thing that makes me feel guilty (among the many--my list is long) is that I don’t spend enough one on one time with each of them. I sometimes think that they each secretly wish that they were an only child. A couple of them have actually made that statement in the heat of the moment. I knew they didn’t really mean it. When push comes to shove, they like having their brothers and sister. They always have a soccer mate, there is always someone willing to play the drums in Rock Band, they always have someone to help catch bugs, and they can do a sleepover at a moment’s notice. Their lives are very rich because of the companionship their siblings bring (at least that is what I tell myself and them when they are battling it out). But the struggle remains the same, how can I give them more individual attention?

I do steal moments with each when I can. If a few kids are busy with playdates, I try and do something special with whoever is remaining. When my son has his late start day at school, we sometimes go for coffee and hot chocolate before drop off. And when we have these limited moments together, it always feels so good. I love the smiles I receive. The “thank you mommy” that I hear when I get them a hot chocolate or Jamba Juice. They truly enjoy getting to do something on their own with out the gang in tow.

Sneaking in these little outings is great, but I want to do something more planned and more specific to each child's interests. So my husband I came up with a plan. We decided that we would give each child a “special day” (once a month) where they can pick which parent they want to hang out with and what activity they would like to do. The one rule is that this time is not about buying toys. No presents allowed. They all were thrilled with the idea and wanted to be the first one to have their “special day.” We started this new activity two weekends ago and so far so good. I spent the afternoon with one of my sons. He wanted to get a hot chocolate with me at Starbucks. We sipped our drinks and talked about school, what he wanted from Santa, and what he’d like for dinner. It was so sweet. When I asked him who his best friend was, he told me it was me (sniff, sniff). We then went to Blockbuster where he picked out a movie to rent. It is always difficult to decide on a movie with four kids’ opinions. He loved the fact that he didn’t have to consult with anyone. That same weekend, my husband took our older son to the Raider’s game with a few other dads and sons. They loved it—the tailgating, seeing those crazy Raiders fans, and the crash of the helmets. This past weekend, it was #3 & #4's turn. They were SOOOO excited about their special day. They had been thinking of what they wanted to do all week. My son decided that he wanted to play tennis and go out for yogurt with his dad. He loved batting the ball around and working on his swing. He was so excited to come home and tell me about his day. My daughter and I had our special day too. We made a Christmas project together and went and had lunch out. She held my hand the whole time and told me how much she loved me (again-sniff, sniff).

I’m very excited to continue these “special day” outings with my kids. I’m looking forward to hearing what they want to do next month. Whatever it is doesn’t really matter, it’s just being together that makes it so wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. what a wonderful idea, I'd love to try this out with my own children. It's carving out the time to be sure it takes place that is difficult.


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