The following post is written by Steady Mom's monthly contributor, Hillary.
Creating space for one-on-one time with each of my children is something I value as an important part of building a solid parent-child relationship.
Even so, I find that if I don't carve out specific times and make it a priority, the days slip into weeks and the weeks turn into months before I have a special date with each of my children.
With my third child coming early this summer, I'm making it a point to have regular one-on-one time worked into our family's routine.
So far I've had success finding special events that are focused towards my eldest child's interests and also including him in regular weekly errands with a special twist.
My two-year-old's exuberant personality does not make a good match for a productive trip to the grocery store, but I've noticed my five-year-old absolutely loves it if we go alone.
We take time to discuss foods we enjoy and I ask him to help punch in the numbers on the digital scale in produce. Afterwards we stop for a little treat at the cafe. Sitting there with him discussing all sorts of things as he kicks he feet and tells me jokes--it's a little slice of heaven.
I'm just beginning to make a conscious effort to take special time out for my two-year-old as well.
He enjoys a leisurely walk around the block taking time to explore little details or even something as simple as stopping on a ride home to check out some train tracks.
I've noticed that the more tuned in I am to them individually, the easier it is for me to help us flow as a group--especially on a particularly hectic or crazy day.
I've also learned that my mindset is more important than what we do.
Looking at an errand like a chore begets some drudgery and is usually not much fun.
Looking at the same errand as an opportunity to spend time together uninterrupted leaves me more spontaneous, tuned in and willing to giggle a lot more than usual. It usually brings out their best self too.On the other side of the coin, putting too much pressure on a big event can backfire. As always, finding that balance seems to be the key.
I'm hoping that investing time and energy into our individual relationships will help make the transition into a family of five enjoyable and empowering for everyone.
**How does one-on-one time work in your family? I'm looking for ideas and inspiration!**
Hillary is a thoughtful mother, loving wife, and a conscientious cook and consumer. She credits her two boys (& a baby on the way!) to her ever expansive knowledge base and blogs about mindful family living at infinitelearners.com.