We get it, the calendar is jammed, life is busy but one thing is for sure, they won't be little for long.
So, sometimes you need to postpone the long list of things to do to carve out regular one-on-one time with your children no matter how hectic your day may be.
Being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs we will ever have and as a mother of five, I can sometimes find spending one-on-one time is a struggle but knowing the overall benefits and witnessing them first-hand makes it all worthwhile.
Spending quality one-on-one time with your children has so many benefits for their overall development and can lead them to feel more loved, confident and much more secure so it makes complete sense to schedule a date at least once a week.
Spending individual quality time with your children helps establish meaningful relationships, boosts self-esteem, makes them feel important, helps your child's academic performance and is a great way to model appropriate behaviours.
As the saying goes, what monkey see monkey do.
Here are some simple tasks to promote your child's development in a positive manner which in turn will support your child's identity, self-worth and make them feel complete.
- Simply tell your child you love them every single day. Tell them how important they are to you and how they make you feel.
- Find something to praise every day and acknowledge it with words of appreciation. For example, reinforce positive behaviour such as completing random acts of kindness or executing chores without having to ask.
- Play with your child at every opportunity, even if it is for ten minutes before they head off to preschool or school. Get up a few minutes earlier to get mid-morning chores done so you can actually sit with your children and eat breakfast together. Laugh and be silly and do what they love, it all makes a positive impact and could set the day the right way.
- Allow older children to stay up late at least once a week, even if it's just twenty minutes later than normal. Use this time to catch up, play a board game or snuggle up on the sofa with a cup of warm milk and a cuddle.
- Be a good role model. One of the most important things about one-on-one time is to be completely present. As hard as it may be for some, always turn off technology when you spend time with your child. That means no scrolling or answering calls - in fact, turn off your phone.
- It develops positive behaviours. For parents of larger families, it is important to know that children with one or more siblings tend to act up or misbehave in a bid to gain attention. Minimise these outbursts and sibling rivalry by practising quality one-on-one time together.
No matter how busy life may seem, there is always an opportunity to spend some quality time with your children. Focus on quality, not quantity. Go back to basics and slow down because each connection, no matter how big or small, will have a lasting impact on your relationship and can only help them in a positive way as they navigate through life.