It can often be difficult to find 1-on-1 time with your child, but doing so doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Even 5 or 10 minutes of quality will allow you to check in and make your child feel special.
Whether you have a few minutes or ten hours, there are a variety of ways to easily work 1-on-1 time into your schedule, no matter how busy it is.
- Have your child help you with small daily chores. Not only will you have help getting the work done, but you’ll have a chance talk with your child.
- Develop a Saturday morning ritual. Tom often left for work before his son was awake, and evenings were often busy with homework and other activities. On Saturday mornings, Tom took his son to a favorite diner for breakfast. Tom was able to learn about his son’s week and the 1-on-1 time allowed him to learn about any problems his son was having. Rituals such as this give your children something to which they can look forward and a time when they know they will be able to open up if there are any problems.
- Schedule a special parent-child event. If you have more than one child, it can be difficult to find time with each child alone. Every few weeks, schedule a special evening with each child individually. Let the child pick an outing or activity and then use that time to not only enjoy being with your child, but also to talk with one another. Abe took his daughter out to dinner and to a movie every few weeks in order to share some father-daughter time. They began the tradition when she was in elementary school and it continued into her teens. Gina’s son enjoyed all things sports; every season they did a different sporting activity-batting cages, hitting golf balls. Gina found that her son was able to teach her about the various sport and, as he got older, gave her tips, something which boosted his self esteem.
- Don’t overlook errands. Pick a specific errand and take your child with you every week. You can use time in car to talk and the time performing the errand can be a learning experience for your child.
- Bedtime rituals. At the end of a long day you may be tired, but take 5 minutes to tuck your child into bed and ask him to list the best and worst parts of his day. This quick ‘check in’ will clue you into any potential problems.