I didn’t realize that you needed to date your kids one-on-one (They’re only 18 months and 3!) until recently when my husband and I each had special time with them.
Since I’m with my kids all the time.
(All. The. Time.)
“Haddie, are you having fun?” (18m daughter)
She looked at me and smiled, and suddenly looked around, and with a frown, said,
Maybe I misspoke.
“Are you having fun with MOMMY?” I spoke slower, enunciating each syllable.
She pointed to the back door.
Here we were, baking cookies, having a big girl bath WITH BUBBLES, and watching a girl movie and she was looking for Daddy????
That was a wake up call for me.
Somewhere in the transition from kid 1 to kid 2, my youngest got lost in translation.
My husband returned home from his man-date and shared a similar story with our son – he had asked for Mommy the whole time.
DATING YOUR KIDS
We don’t get our children for very long. They grow up quickly (so I hear).
We have them on borrowed time.
They learn everything from us during this time.
- How to treat others
- How to love
- What a relationship looks like
- (For our boys) how to treat girls/how to date them and vice versa (how to be dated/pursued)
Along with 7 Ways to Date your Kids, here is a great podcast put out by Focus on the Family on practically connecting with your kids, from young kids to teen years. They are a great source on Parenting, Marriage, Faith, Social Issues, and Life Challenges.
- Pray, pray, pray.
- Pray for them. Pray with them. Pray through your frustrations. Ask them how you can pray for them. Pray for their friends. Pray for your friends. Teach them the power of prayer/caring for others.
- Get on their level
- Make sure and play with them one-on-one. I realize that a lot of your day is busy work – but invite them to do your chores with you. Let them choose the music you listen to while you do it. You’ll be surprised (until the teen years) how enthused they may be to pour in the laundry detergent, put the silverware away (incorrectly), or take clothes off the line. Teach them practical life skills!
- For your Teens!
- Let them choose the dates. Or do every other. Do it once a month. This gives them time to share whatever they want. Ask them serious questions. Go to dinner, play put-put, go to a coffee shop before or after school, take them to the local ballgame. They might balk the first few times or think they are too cool – I’m sure you can remember those feelings– but they will get used to it. And you want them to.
- Dates with kids
- Take one to the bounce house. Make a deal with another Mom to swap out and watch their kids so you can have some alone time. Make it once a month as well, or just whenever you can. Rotate out with your spouse. Have dates with both of them and separately.
- Family Dates
- Make sure and try to choose things that aren’t too “uncool.” Or let each kid pick what they want and rotate it out. They will cherish these later. Ice cream is always cool 😉
- Be real with them starting YOUNG
- You need to be sharing with them real experiences about life. On bullying, on friendships and love, (when they’re older) about sex. If you make it a habit to talk real with them at a young age, the sex talk won’t be as awkward when they are older. If they don’t hear it from you, they WILL hear it from someone else. Younger than you may think. You want them to be comfortable talking with you.
- Stop. Drop. and Read.
- A great way to connect with kids of all ages is to read with them. Obviously, starting young is ideal because they will be used to it, but I would encourage you to do it no matter what age. Book time every day! Go to the library together and pick out the books. Teach lessons through the books you read. Act them out. As they get older, read more advanced books with them. These are precious lessons and moments with them. I still remember falling asleep to my Dad’s voice as he read to me. Although it wasn’t very often, it was incredibly special to me.
For those of you who have gone through all the children years, and are still in contact with your children and have relationships with them, or not, we would love to hear from you. How did you individualize your children? How did you not? What worked? What didn’t?
As always, please comment below 🙂 We’d love to hear from you. Thank you to all the Mom’s who contributed and taught me love and grace along my journey to share with others.
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Other posts include: We Are the #WhateverMoms, Clotheslining: Brighten Your Day By Doing Laundry, Ways to Exercise as a Busy Mom , Exorcising your belief that you can’t Exercise, Parenting When Everything Goes Wrong – Free Parenting Assessment!, 7 Ways to Stop Being an Angry Mom (free cheat sheet attached!)
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