One of my goals for the year was to spend 1 hour one-on-one with each child every month. Out of 744 hours in a month, surely we can carve out a few hours to make this happen. (Granted, if I had a dozen children, this would probably read more like “spend one hour with each child per year!”)
As my children are dealing with the pressures that come as kids get older, the lines of communication need to be kept clear and time for listening ears needs to be prioritized. Then again they all need time for this- all children have a need to voice themselves and to know that they are each special.
While we know the importance of such a goal, carrying it out and actually carving out that time is another story altogether. Being intentional is the only way to essentially create time and make time work for us. Here are a few ways I am making one-on-one time with each child actually happen.
1. Nighttime talks
When younger ones are tucked in bed, time alone with the oldest is wide open- and, thankfully, mine still loves for me to just hang out in his room to talk. It has been something I try to never say ‘no’ to.
2. Take a hike
When dad is home with the other children, it is easy for me to take a child and head off through the field together. Or we might drive to the nearest hiking trail.
Oh, how we love a good picnic (no crumbs to sweep!)- my youngest and I have had quite a few outdoor meals with books to read together.
4. The swing
When the others are off playing, I might find one to sit with me on the porch swing- again, books are good to have on hand.
My girl received an unfinished dollhouse and I am slowly painting and wallpapering according to her design while she hangs out with me, talking and making more little people plans.
Some Saturdays we wait with shopping list in hand for my husband to come home from work- and we’re off! My children are very enthusiastic one-on-one errand helpers, so long as I clear up any of their personal purchase expectations.
7. Head for the hills
The next time the weather is nice and my husband is home during daylight, I have plans to escape to the tennis court with my oldest.
8. Crafts and baking
We all love creating together, so doing this one-on-one would require a diversion for the others… Baking together is one of my super-fast-growing kids’ favorites, of course!
We have several more hours to plan over the course of this year- please do share in the comments any ideas you might have for one-on-one time with children.