Written by Genie Price
We love our families. We spend so much effort on working and making money to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle, yet we often forget that our time with them is more important.
Building individual parent-child relationships are essential to all areas of development and no matter how old you get, there is always a valid reason to spend one-on-one time with those you love.
Children need one-on-one time with each parent for a variety of reasons and below is a solid list explaining why.
It supports your child’s identity:
You are an individual, right? You have your own set of likes and you know what you dislike, don’t you?
So, why wouldn’t your child be the same? The whole point of one-on-one time is that you can interact with them on a personal level and help strengthen their identity.
Establishing identity is important to development because it is one way to help your child recognise their own wants and needs and their own likes and dislikes, it also:
- Allows them to develop a trusting relationship
- Your child will start to feel great self-worth and that they are valued
- It also allows your child establish their own thinking and have their own voice
It helps establish richer relationships:
So, you have taken the time to learn about your child’s own interests and needs? What next?
You can now use this information to plan the next activity or event.
Making time to research and then create meaningful activities and experiences based on your child’s likes and interests can only set you up for success.
Activities don’t have to be expensive, take a bike ride, walk the family dog together or head out for something more entertaining, like going to the movies. The important thing here is that you enjoy each other’s company.
And remember, actions speak louder than words.
Because life moves fast:
We hear this all too often: “Where did the time go?” and that’s exactly why we should invest in using that time for our “babies” because in a blink of an eye, they won’t be babies or little children anymore.
And, for those reasons alone, it’s best to get in while they are still at home with you.
Unfortunately, after they leave home, you may not have as much participation in their social events as you do now. So, why not enjoy it while you can.
They can learn about values:
As parents, you understand good values and behaviours can take you far in life. So, why not take this one-on-one time to teach your child the same?
Children learn by imitation and whether you are in groups or interacting alone with your child, this can be a great way to role model appropriate behaviours, values and establish traditions.
And, last but not least…
It builds self-esteem in children:
This one is simple. Giving undivided attention to your child sends a very important message. Essentially, you’re saying: “You are important to me. I’m interested in what you have to say, and I enjoy being with you.” That, to a child, means the world.
Working and parenting combined is hard work. You work most of the week and it feels as though there is so little time to be with the ones you love. Therefore, planning a date with your child will help you slow down and appreciate the time you have. It will also remind you that you are still human and that you need some time out from the hustle and bustle of the busy schedule that is life.
- Spending individual time with each child helps you better understand who your child is
- When children get regular attention from parents, they feel more important
- When you know what your child is thinking and dreaming about, you can help manage their feelings and meet goals.
Remembering that family structures come in various forms, here are some tips for single parent families:
- Allow one child to stay up later one night a week
- If you don’t have any family close by and you can afford to, hire a babysitter for a night and take turns on taking each child out
- On the weekends, plan a sleepover with one of your child’s friends so that there is only one at home with you. You could bake or watch a movie
- If your ex is reliable and still in the picture, ask them to support you in getting one-on-one time with your children