Now, I'm not saying that I never spent one on one time with them in the past, but it's become more apparent to me how infrequent I do it. Especially since the baby has come. Little Owen is trying to figure out where he fits in and has become more vocal, busy and adventurous (a.k.a a little fit-throwing, yelling and screaming terror). I'm sure, like your own kids (if you have them) you know that some children need more time than others. He's always needed more time and attention from the time he was born. It's part of his personality.
This week when I saw that he was being out of control, I knew that I needed to spend a little more time with him. Since he is only 20 months old, our time together last about 5 minutes tops, but we do a couple of 5 minute play times during the whole day. Sometimes we just sit down and do a puzzle, play with blocks or throw a ball around in his room. The important part is that Liam is not a part of these times. It's just the two of us.
This brings me to individual time with Liam. We spend time together when the younger boys are down for a nap. Since he's 5, I've made him more involved about our time together. We have a "Mom & Me" jar that he gets to pick an activity from.
Here's how to make a Mom & Me jar of your own (so simple!).
1 mason jar with lid
popcicle sticks (perferable NOT used!)
Sit down with your child and write down activity ideas on the sticks. Place in the jar. Pick one a day.
Some of the activities Liam choose to do with me were Legos, making cookies, puzzles, playing catch, dance party, playing with his remote control car and painting. He picks it at the beginning of the day so he has something to look forward to and so I can be prepared for when the time comes.
This can work with any age child and multiple children as well.
I totally think that both parents (if possible) need to spend individual time with each of their kids. Ian is really great about getting the boys ready for bed and they spend that time winding down (yeah right, more like major tickles and wrestling and getting the boys riled up more!) and give them the dad attention they need. Part of their bedtime routine is reading one or two books a night with them.
(Liam can read 90% of Green Eggs and Ham all on his own!!!)
No matter what you do, just make sure it's positive, possibly a fun learning experience, and pack with quality love. I'm no where near perfect at doing this, but I never regret any of the times that I get to spend with each of them on their own!
Okay, so now's your time to share how you spend time with your kids. What's worked or hasn't worked? I'm sure all of you are great at it!