Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, they receive tremendous value from one on one time with mom. But moms are busy, and time together can be difficult to find. When you do have it, this time together can be stressful because you may feel rushed. Here are some tips for better one on one time.
- Create Traditions – Once a year Julia’s mom would take her out of school for a day of hooky. They’d go to lunch, hang out together, and go shopping. Julia would get to choose the restaurant and mom would drive. This tradition started in elementary school and carried on through Julia’s graduation. It was something that she looked forward to and while it only happened once a year, it helped keep their connection strong. Traditions can help your child learn to count on you. For example, if you have your monthly ice cream date together, then the child learns to trust that that time together is a priority for you and something you look forward to.
- Stay In the Moment – When you do have coveted time alone with your child, try to stay in the present moment. Don’t start talking about the past when they were little or nag them about their future. Ask questions about what they’re doing and feeling right now and listen to their answers. You can learn a lot about your child from listening to them, rather than thinking about what you’re going to say or worrying about their past or future.
- Be Ready for it – One on one time isn’t always planned. If your child comes to you excited about something or wanting to share an experience, whenever possible, set down what you’re doing and be there with them 100%. Whether they want you to watch them practice a dance move or they want you to throw the football to them, being willing to drop what you’re doing and spend time with your child is invaluable.
- Foster Uniqueness – Allow your child to dictate how you spend time together and what the two of you do. For example, Julia and her mother went shopping and that was fun for both of them. However, it’s just as likely that Julia might have preferred to go fishing. It’s not necessarily important that you find something you both like to do. You can help your child embrace their interests and unique qualities by inviting them to dictate the time together.
- Enjoy the Mundane – You and your child can bond while performing routine activities. For example, you might designate one night each week to cook dinner together. This time together can be fluid. Your child might lead some of the meal planning and preparation. Other joint activities might include gardening, exercising together, learning a new sport or walking the dog.
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While many parents lead busy lives, moms need to remember that it’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend with your children, but the quality of that time. Be present, create time to spend together, and allow your child to initiate the time whenever possible.