5 “Date” Ideas for You and Your Child

I have some special friends I connect with almost daily via a mobile app.  A couple of the girls work full-time, one of us homeschools and works from home, another mom juggles grad school and motherhood.

All of us battle mom-guilt.  All of us secretly think we’re not doing as much as other moms.  All of us want to spend quality time with our kids and wonder if we’re doing enough.

5-Ideas-for-Kid-DatesOne-on-one time with our kids is a great time to get to know them and show them how important they are.  It can also be a very overwhelming task.  If I let myself look at other moms, especially those with less children, I quickly feel like a failure.  I have to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and my mind open to ideas in order to move forward.

As a mother of five, it is increasingly difficult to get one-on-one time with each of my children.  I am learning to seize any moment that I can to get to know each child a little better.  Here are a few things I’ve come up with (and a few my husband has come up with – he’s very good at this.)

1.  Involve your kids in your exercise time

I remember reading a mom’s idea to have early morning tea time with individual children.  I thought that was a fantastic idea…and I also knew I would never do it.  Ever.  I immediately felt doomed to failure.

exercise-with-kidsThen one Saturday morning I was lacing up for a run.  I remembered how much my five-year-old had once loved to ride in his jogging stroller.  I threw his bike in the van and we headed to the beach for a special early morning workout.  What fun!  Just the right thing for this mom.  Since then each child old enough to ride a bike has been able to join me on a run – and they have each looked forward to that time.

If you work out, is there a way to bring your child with you?  Is there something else you enjoy doing that your child might love doing alongside you?

2.  Date night once a month

I have friends who are able to do dates with their kids once a week or go out with each child once a month.  That’s not something we can currently work into our schedules, but I can plan on one date each month.

As of January this year, each child gets a month and a dinner date with Mom!  They’re thrilled – that’s three extra special dates a year with Mom.  (So far, the top dinner choice in the 10 and under crowd is Dennys!)

1796414_10152340668023714_1479805409_n3.  Do something special at home

Once in a while my daughter and I find ourselves at home while the older boys are out and about with Dad.  I find that I can make this an extra-special time just by offering to paint her nails and read books together.

What special things might your little ones like to do when you’re home together?

4.  Bake together

Often my older children have friends over while my little ones are napping.  That leaves a lonely five year old following his brothers around trying to fit in.  While learning to include him is good for my older boys, I also like to give them time with their friends.

I love to use this time to bake with my little guy.  He loves having treats to offer as the others come inside or the babies wake up, and I enjoy that special time.

5.  Make a list with your children.

My husband does this periodically with the kids.

time-with-kidsWhat are your favorite things to do with Dad?  And they write or draw their lists.  This gives my husband insight into what each child enjoys, and shows the child that we really want to know them and meet their needs.  As we can snatch time with each child, we know the type of thing they’d like to do.

Brainstorm a little by yourself or with your husband and don’t feel pressured to make time alone the most amazing event ever – our children just want time with us.  One of my son’s thought the greatest alone time was when I took him to Walmart to buy a birthday gift for his brother – then we got a McDonald’s ice cream.  We’re not trying to win awards, we’re just trying to get to know our kids!

Much Love,

Christy   OneFunMom

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  1. says

    Thank you Christy for this fun list. I will be saving this for when my children are a bit older.

    I send thirty minutes to a hour each day with my children having worship. My children are young so they don’t seen to want to leave each other alone, so everything is done as a team for now.

    Peace to you.

  2. says

    Serenity’s not quite two, and our only child at this point. While this hasn’t really come up yet in terms of finding time around siblings, I’ve been making a point of involving her in making meals when possible. So far, she’s helped me make 2 kinds of cookies, breakfast casserole, and enchiladas. It’s messy and kind of terrifying, but I love every minute, and so does she.

  3. MayhemMama says

    We started homeschooling our kids this school year. While we all love the family time my kiddos were craving some special ill 1:1 time. Part of my new year resolution has been to make date time. Each week one child has a date with me. They have even written down on their calendars when their date is and the always come up to me the day before and want to plan it. On days my hubby is not at home to watch the other child or have his own date, we tell everyone what our at home date plan is. The result has been that the child not on the date has been incredibly respectful of the sacredness of that time and keeps interruptions to a minimum since they want the same respect for their date. I have learned some amazing things about my children on these dates. I have not only learned about them, but I have opened myself up and allowed them to see the “human” part of me, not just the mom me. When they talk about hurts I share about a situation where I have had the same kind of hurt. The result has been that they are much more willing to come to me and talk and fully share their emotions and ask me what I think they should so.

    So far our favorite date destinations are frozen yogurt, McDonald’s for coffee (I am blessed that caffeine does not send my kids into orbit and they love the treat of being able to drink grow up things), baking bread together, and craft time. Nothing expensive, but the time I spend on them is invaluable.

  4. says

    I needed some help with ideas! I have six kids and often feel guilty for not spending more one-on-one time with them. I love your suggestion for incorporating them into my own daily activities.

    • says

      Janelle, that’s a lot of kids! (I’m familiar with the challenges you face). I’m glad you got some ideas, and hopefully got rid of a little guilt too!

  5. Hannah Beth Reid says

    Thank you for sharing these great tips! My 4 year old daughter’s favorite thing for me to do is read to her…without a little brother trying to turn the pages too fast. And I look forward to discovering what other special things we can do with our kids as they grow older. Thank you again!

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