Family time is a great way to enjoy moments together that you can cherish forever, and remember years to come. I look forward to days when it is just the four of us out on a brand new adventure. I love showing my children new places, new experiences, new food, new life. And what is better than to share that with the people you love most. As much as I love our family time I also know the huge importance of one on one time. Whether it be the mom, dad, and one child.. or just mom with one child, or dad with one child. It is so easy to get soaked into the hustle and bustle of the day and forget that children need our undivided attention sometimes, and maybe a couple minutes here and there during a busy afterschool day isn't enough.
As a child, I remember getting one on one time with both of my parents. I remember all the special days with my mom going shopping, and helping her run errands at the post office, or just grabbing a bite to eat with her while my dad stayed home with my younger brother. I really enjoyed being able to have her full attention for that time being. I also remember my one on one time with my dad riding bicycles, and going over to Flushing Meadow Park to watch a soccer game. Not only did I enjoy that downtime with them alone, but I feel like it really helped me learn more about my parents. At home, they were my parents, and they had to make sure I was behaving and doing what I had to do. But when I was out with them alone I got to see different sides of them, and hear different stories from them that made me feel closer to them.
Just recently my oldest went to his first hockey game with dad and had such a great time rooting and learning all about hockey from his dad. He got to experience something different, and at the same time, he got to learn more about his dad, and why he enjoys hockey. On that same night, I decided to take advantage and have a one on one with my youngest. We went out for dinner and dessert, went to the park and sang on the swings, and then to a bookstore where we enjoyed reading some books together and spoke about all the things we loved about bookstores. It was a great time to connect with him without having to speak to two children at once. I was able to sit there and talk with him without any rush, or distractions. He told asked me to read him about 10 different books, and I could tell he was really happy to be able to choose them all. It was something that they both needed to feel connected to us without the usual daily routine of dinner, bath, story, and bedtime.
We try our best to be consistent with these special ones on one dates and switch it up to be fair. I believe it not only helps our bond with them, but it helps their behavior as well. They sometimes show us signs that they need that special dedicated time by doing something completely out of their nature, and we usually see it as a bad sign when its really just them needing that down time with us. I believe that we have so much to learn about our kids especially as they keep growing older, but just as much as we must learn about them - they should also learn about us - our favorite things, things that make us happy, and things that we have done in life. We sometimes forget that since they are so little, but we must let them into our world as well and let them really understand us so we can create a real bond and not just a routined life.