Are you concerned about making your kids feel special or how to manage spending time alone with them? Especially if you have multiple kids?
We have eight kids and I found that I could really get uptight trying to plan time alone with each of them. And it was even more difficult to follow through on doing what was planned.
My husband and I decided it was more important to regularly focus on making each of them feel special.
How do you build a strong bond with kids? At times that would involve one-on-one time, but honestly, my kids would be just as excited if my husband took two or three of them together to do something special. Time and attention builds that bond better than any gifts you can give them.
It’s also important to realize that often unplanned one-on-one times are the best! For example, one of your kids is struggling with something, and you stop what you are doing to sit down and listen to them. One-on-one time doesn’t have to be big or even outside of your house, sometimes the simple moments talking together are even more precious and memorable. It’s the same when your kids are excited about something. Being excited with them is a wonderful opportunity for you to stop and show your attention and emotion as you listen to them share with you.
1. Write your kids notes.
It only takes a couple of minutes, and it’s amazing how they respond! They love notes of praise and encouragement, or just “I love you!” notes.
Handwritten notes are one of the best ways for making your kids feel special, and they will treasure those notes!
2. When you have to discipline one of your kids, take time afterward to make them feel special.
Often, after a time of discipline or correction, my kids will open up and talk and we have a very special time. It’s one of those things that can’t be planned but is a result of me showing a willingness to listen and take time.
3. Often when I go to the store, I’ll take one of the kids along. (My husband does this also)
What may feel like a meaningless or even dreaded chore can turn into a fun and special time together. The kids enjoy our “date” and feel very special. Often we’ll get a little treat on the way home and chat while we enjoy it.
4. Make bedtime special.
Bedtime can be rather hectic when you have several kids and ages to get tucked in at night. However, at times I would sense a need in one of the kids to have just a little extra attention, so I would sit and talk or listen for a minute or two longer. These special unplanned times often led to very good teaching conversations. And when they are quietly tucked into their beds, the conversations are often deeper than when the house is noisy and full of distractions.
Bedtime blessings are an extra special way to make that time at the end of the day meaningful to you and your kids!
5. Have a kitchen helper each day.
When the kids were younger, this is one thing I did plan, and they loved it!
Each day they took turns being my kitchen helper. The “helper” set the table, helped me prepare the meals, and helped me clean up. During this time of course, we get to talk, laugh, sing, etc.
Then my helper got to stay up for thirty minutes after the other kids went to bed and do something special with Mom (or Dad). Often it was rocking them (yes, my five and seven-year-olds still asked for this!), reading to them, or playing a game.
What would you add to this list? What are your favorite ideas for making your kids feel special!
Sonja, you have made some excellent & wise choices to help you be present! Good for you for being willing to do what it takes to keep a strong connection with your kids!
We do a handful of the things you mentioned above. Being present daily can be a challenge with all the technology bidding for our attention. One thing that has helped me be more present, and that has helped my kids feel important, is dumbing down my phone, not being on social media and limiting my time on the computer. It’s lead to us removing tablets and even our television (we do have family movie nights a couple times a month) It’s been a slow (and some times hard – for me and the kids) process of getting off these things but the outcome has been well worth it for us and one that I’m thankful for doing. ~ Mother of 9
We do not have children yet, but these are some good thoughts.
Kimberlee, that’s a great idea! Question – who gets the back rub, you or the child? 🙂
Once a week, I have breakfast in bed with a kiddo (plus baby while nursing). I wake the kiddo up early so we can make breakfast together. Then we spread a large towel out on my made bed (to catch crumbs and drips). We have breakfast, read a Bible verse, spend time in prayer, journal, draw pictures, and read from a chapter book. Sometimes we have time for back rubs, too.
I like the one on one time. That is just precious.