While we know making time to connect with our children through special activities is important, it often seems like a luxury. The faster our lives get, the more this precious time can get overlooked. Making this even more difficult is allotting one-on-one time with multiple kids. The good news: it can be done and be beneficial to you both in myriad ways.
Benefits of One-on-One Time
Connecting with each child individually is critical for their development. In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Kyle Pruett, a clinical professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, said allowing yourself this time as a parent will enable you to strengthen your relationship with your child and keep you attuned to their needs.
One Size Does Not Fit All
If you have more than one child, they’re most likely different ages, at different stages developmentally or, at the very least, different personality types.
When you’re parenting more than one child at a time you have to generalize. Conversations are edited, usually for the youngest ears in the group. A conversation with your 13-year-old son will have very different topics and tone than one with your six-year-old daughter.
When you spend individual time with each child, conversation can be focused on their communication style, interests or the issues they’re facing.
The most important thing: setting aside time for these conversations to take place.
There’s No Time!
Families are busier than ever with time being a hot commodity. So how can you carve out alone time with each child?
It doesn’t have to be overly structured or scheduled. Take the pressure off by pairing one-on-one time with daily tasks like driving your child to soccer practice or walking the dog together. These stolen moments can be special for both of you if approached with that intent.
Technology Is Your Friend
If you’re the type of family that needs a scheduled time, try utilizing a family planning app. Keeping families connected and on schedule are the specialties behind apps like Cozi, Hub and Family Wall.
These apps allow for sharing family schedules, to-do lists, events, photos and, of course, individual time. Through these apps, kids can even request special time with you.
Finding the time may feel overwhelming at first, but even 10 minutes of quality time can be all that you need to stay connected.