Any relationship does better when you put some work into it and it’s no different with your kids.
Time is a hot commodity in any family and my husband and I recently changed the focus of what kind of time we had with our 5 kids. It’s has been the best change in our 2016.
This last Christmas, my husband and I were talking about the kids and he said that he was feeling a bit “disconnected.” A lot of running around, sports, school, music programs, work, and, well, life was really all we were doing. He wanted more quality time with each individual kiddo, because when we are busy, we tend to lump the kids together or split them by age or activity. So starting in January, we decided to try something new in our family: 1 on 2 time with each individual kiddo. We’re concentrating on our oldest 4 (the baby is only a year, so I think by the time the oldest is out of the house, he’ll be ready for his time too), where they each have a month. January belonged to the 15-year-old, February to the 9-year-old, March to the 6-year-old, and April to the 3-year-old; and it will continue to rotate through the year so they each get 3 total months to have quality time with mom and dad.
They each get a day where they can choose an activity and, without any interruptions, we can really connect and talk. Please don’t misunderstand me, we talk ALL. THE. TIME. to our kids. About school, life, friends, choices, but sometimes they just need some alone time to open up. Some time where the focus is JUST ON THEM.
So, the first round we allowed each child to choose their activity (see some examples of what we did below) and they choose things that they all love to do. The second round, it’s up to mom and dad… and it’s a surprise for them. We are choosing things that they will enjoy, but maybe something they wouldn’t have thought of. We talked about doing the popsicle sticks and letting them choose that way, but this year we’ll start with what we’ve got because, well, its hard to think of new places!
As we have made it through one round of kids, it has been fun! The hubs and I get to do something fun, the kiddo gets to do something fun (and usually it’s something that we don’t normally do), and the time together has been great. The kids really look forward to their month, they love having mom and dad to themselves, and we love having the chance to have them to ourselves, also.