When you have nearly a half-dozen children, it’s difficult to find individual time with each of them. It’s difficult, but it’s imperative to do so. In our home we celebrate our children’s adopt-a-versary. It is a day that we don’t dwell on the legal portion of their adoption, but rather simply dwell on them as an individual. We allow them to choose the activities and we go on a date with only us – mom, dad and child. It is a day that my children look forward to every year and they absolutely eat up the undivided attention.
Once a year is not sufficient, however, and we must make an effort to spend one on one time with our children on a regular basis. Our children need to know they are a priority and making time in our schedule to spend time with them is our pleasure, not a problem.
When you spend one on one time with your children, you are encouraging bonding by providing opportunities for communication and connection. You are embracing the relationship and proving it’s importance. When you spend one on one time with your children, you are raising a child who will be more successful in future relationships.
It doesn’t have to be an extravagant all day date or celebration to be beneficial! Make a habit of spending time each evening before bed with your individual children. We do it while praying each night, giving the children an individual opportunity to discuss their worries and praises. I have a friend who has pillow time with their child each night and it is an open opportunity to ask any question. There is no question off limits and there are no consequences for the questions asked. This is a safe time for the children to bond with their parents through open communication and an empowering opportunity to let them know their thoughts and questions are valued.
Spending one on one time with your children builds a relationship of trust, love and respect. It reminds the child – especially those in a large family – they are unique, valued and equally important in the dynamic of the family.