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Special Time in a Family with Multiple Kiddos

One of the love languages is quality time. How do we find one-on-one quality time with each child in a family with multiple children? One of my sons in particular thrives on this focused attention. When he gets into a funk, his attitude can often be reset with a little one-on-one time with me. It can be as simple and informal as throwing a football in the the yard, taking a bike ride, walking around the orchard, or going for a donut. These informal times often happen naturally, but for our family, we also wanted something planned to ensure that each of our sons gets time alone with us during each month.

Enter the idea of "special half hours!" This is not my idea, but one I heard from a friend. Each month, each son gets a turn staying up an extra half hour after bedtime to spend alone time with my husband and me.

When do we have special half hours?

When we homeschooled our boys, we would have their special half hour on the numerical date of their birth each month. For example, Malachi was born on February 17, so on the 17th of each month, he would get a special half hour with us. Now that the boys are back in public school, and we don't want them staying up later on a school night, we have moved to Fridays, which works for our smaller family of 4 kiddos. The first Friday of each month is my oldest son's turn. The second Friday is my second son's turn. The third Friday is my third son's turn. And since the youngest is still too young to stay up later, the fourth Friday is date night for Mommy and Daddy! Added bonus for us!

What do we do during this special half hour?

Whatever our son wants to do! Usually, it's playing a card or board game. We've also played Charades, done puzzles, played "Superheroes," built legos, drawn pictures, read books, written books... Anything that they enjoy that will also keep us interacting with each other!

What is so special about special half hours?

Our children very rarely (if ever?) receive the undivided attention of both of their parents at the same time! There are always other brothers around, and work to be done, vying for that limited attention. We enjoy this time together so much. We laugh. We get to know our children and what they enjoy. We talk. My husband and I also get to play together while playing with our son, instead of rushing around getting work done after the boys go to bed. We look forward to it. (And yet, to be completely honest, sometimes we grimace because we are exhausted and have been looking forward to our boys' bedtime all evening. However, in the end, we are always glad we took this time with our sons!)

Free, simple, with no preparation required! This is the plan that works for us, and we have truly enjoyed it!

How do you spend one-on-one time with your kiddos?

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