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Let's face it we are busy people. I am home all day with my kids, but in that time I'm not just mom. I wear many hats. I'm the teacher, the cook, the house keeper, the wife, the friend, the blogger and so many other roles. So at the end of the day I sit back and think, "when was the quality time?" All of us long for it. All of us want quality time with our spouses, or a girls night out with our friends. We long for quiet time to have with God, with no interruptions. Just like we long for that quality time, our children long for it too. They want time when you're not directing them in math or keeping them task oriented or sending them off to play so you can cook, clean or blog. They want special time with just you! How do you give your kids quality time?
In our home we have dates with our kids. My kids love their dates. It's a time for them to be without their siblings and have my or my husband's undivided attention. During their dates, I DON'T text or talk on the phone. I don't try to rush through. I listen to them.
Our dates have been as simple as me taking a child along to go shopping. During the drive to the store I engage them in singing songs together or talking about whatever is on their minds. While shopping I hold their hand, or sit them in the cart and look at them. Make lots of eye contact, ask them questions, take time and laugh with them. I usually will buy a little something for us to share that's not on the shopping list. Maybe a cup of hot cocoa or a little pack of stickers.
One of my favorite dates with my son we went to the store and bought a little model car set that had the wood pieces, glue and paint all in the kit, with stickers. I bought a plastic table cloth and we then went to an ice cream shop. We put the table cloth over the table to keep it free from paint and glue and we spent quality time building his cars, painting them and laughing. Then we ate our ice cream and took our creations home. Clean up was a breeze. I wrapped up the table cloth and threw it away on my way out the door. I made sure we sat where we were not facing the tv screens that seem to frequent ever shop. It was such a great time and a great memory. My son has those little cars on a shelf in his room and every time I see them I remember our special date. I've done the same type of thing with my daughters beading or sewing or painting a picture together.
Sometimes our dates are at night and Daddy and I get alone time with one child. We might play a game together or watch a movie or make a batch of cookies. Whatever we do we make sure that the child we are with knows they are special, they can talk to us about anything and we love having this special time with them. All of our kids desire date time. For me it's a time that I put all my other hats aside and focus all my attention, my love on my sweet child. I love their date time. I feel like it helps me connect more with my children, so I'm not always the teacher, or the cook, I'm their mother who adores them.
How do you have quality time with your kids. Do you do date nights? If you haven't I suggest you try one this week.