Dates With My Kids

Mom and NatOne practice we instituted with our kids during these crazy, fun, hard, awesome years of parenting has been “time together.”  The simple name is just what it is – a little time carved out one-on-one with each child.  I don’t remember when we got deliberate about it, but I do clearly remember the first one – the newborn stayed home with Daddy and my 2 year old and I went down the road to the library.  I’ll never forget what she said to me on the way: “Mommy, I’m so proud we’re going to the liberry…”  It was such a simple thing, but had such a big impact!

Admittedly, life can get busy and it takes a conscious effort – (and, in our house, usually a reminder from the kids) to keep it up.  So, while we have not been nearly as consistent I would like to be, I am proud to say my husband and I do each spend a little one-on-one time with each of our children on a regular basis.  How often? How long?  How much money do we spend?  At least once a month.  And, we don’t necessarily spend money or even leave the house.  Many nights its just a half-hour spent drawing, talking, writing poems, playing Wii or doing a Minecraft build-off.  (The activity is up to the kids, and yes, its a stretch for me to write a poem or draw a picture, especially at the end of a long day, but the good news is that its just between us :).

Sunday evening I had the privilege of hanging out at the beach with one of my favorite people, my middle daughter.  We shivered in our blanket and talked, and then got silly and took pictures of each other dipping our toes in the ocean…yeah, its chilly this time of year!  I know for me these moments will be some of my favorite memories when they have all grown and left home, and I think they’ll be their favorites, too.

What about you?  What special traditions do you have with your kids?  What ways do you make memories together?  I’d love to hear from you 🙂 IMG_1371 Natalie Beach 2  Is it here yet? Michelle in cold water IMG_1396





2 thoughts on “Dates With My Kids”

  1. Although we haven’t set up one on one time with the kids yet one thing we’ve started is ending the day on a positive note. Just before settling the kids in bed we talk about our favorite part of the day. It’s fun to hear the different perspectives and sometimes there are multiple favorites that end up coming out. Charlie, at 2, is starting to understand in his own way – I ask “what was your favorite part of the day, Charlie” and usually get no response but then I’ll ask something like “was it playing outside” and he’ll grin and say no. And this will go on for a bit. But a couple times he has said things like “daddy” or “nana” or has paused when I’ve asked a question and nod. I try to keep a journal of Lydia’s favorites and will have to start a journal for Charlie soon. What is neat about the journal is with the compilation you can start to see patterns of what motivates each child, what brings him or her in particular as a person, delight. It also helps to come up with ideas of future activities and to see his or her interests develop.

    1. That is so cool to see that even Charlie is beginning to understand the “favorites” – great idea to journal it and look for patterns and motivators. Motivators is one thing I never even thought about until we had the foster kiddos. You are such a great Mom – thanks for sharing your thoughts! Just think, too, how the pattern of reviewing their favorite part of the day helps them focus on gratitude and fosters a joyful attitude 🙂

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