I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days with just my son. My husband had a family emergency back home, and my daughter went with him. So, it was just my son and me for two days. And, boy, did we have fun! That time also made me realize just how important it is for me (and my husband) to set aside one-on-one time with each of our kids. Somewhere along the way, I heard another mom appropriately call this one-on-one time a “date.” Think about it. A date is spent trying to learn more about a person by talking, asking questions and listening. We know this helps strengthen relationships . . . so why not do it with our kids?
I know, I know, we’re with our kids all of the time. Shouldn’t just being together be enough? No. It’s not enough. And, here’s my reason. I have two kids with very different personalities. One does not like to be the center of attention, while the other one lives in the spotlight. This can make for some sticky situations — especially when both are vying for my attention. Yes, I’m spending time with them, but neither of them is getting my full, undivided attention. So, how can I really listen and connect with them? This one-on-one time is extremely important when one of my kiddos is out of sorts and struggling. I may have no idea what is going on, or how to make it right, but I know that one-on-one time will help.
I try to go on one to two dates a month with each of my kids. There are numerous other opportunities (bedtime routines, long drives, etc. ) where I can work in some quality time, but I really enjoy being able to get out of the house with each kiddo. You would need to decide what works best for your family and your schedule. A few friends use the kid’s birthdate as a benchmark date, while others pick a certain day of the week. My only suggestion: make them regularly and follow through with them!
The “Perfect” Date
So, there really is no “perfect” date. Date nights can be formal or informal, scheduled or impromptu, or even mom & dad with one child. It really depends on what works best for your family! Personally, I enjoy it being just me and one of my kiddos. Usually, our date isn’t super fancy, and it’s something my kiddo chooses. Sometimes our dates cost money, other times they do not.
This is about as personal as they come, but here is a list of ideas to get you started. Have your kiddo pick the date and help work out the details. And, of course, the type of date will vary depending on the age of your kids!
- Head to the beach to look for shark teeth or shells.
- See a movie.
- Grab an ice cream cone or milkshake from the local ice cream store.
- Let your kiddo stay up an extra 30 minutes one night and play a game, read a book, etc.
- Surprise them by going to school to have lunch with them.
- Head to the zoo.
- Parent/child date night at a local restaurant. We love the Chick-fil-a date nights!
- Take a hike.
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt that you create together.
- Ride bikes.
- Go to the library.
- Go to the park or pool one-on-one.
- Attend a play, musical or live show.
- Have a spa day.
- Play mini golf.
- Try a cooking class together.
- Go to a “fancy” restaurant.
- Enjoy a breakfast together.
- Paint pottery.
- Head to the pier to fish.
One of the best things we can do as a parent is spending special time with each of our kids. Establishing a strong bond and open lines of communication now (as hard as it may be sometimes) will definitely help down the road.
I’ve listed a few activities that I like to do with my kiddos for date night, but would love to hear from you! Comment below with any ideas I may have missed!