The following post is from Susan of The Confident Mom:
There is a lot of talk and plenty of articles about making sure you spend individual time with each of your children on a regular basis. I completely agree: finding time for each of your children is critical to relationship building. However, it can often seem like a daunting task and can lead into a guilt complex as a mom if you are not careful. I’m not here to throw the guilt card at you, just to refresh your memory on the benefits of sharing individual time with your child.
When you spend time with your child without the presence of anyone else, you are showing them they are important to you. We can often tell them but as we know, actions go much deeper than our words. I am often reminded of this when I try to multitask. We moms are very good at this, but I think we can overlook how it can be perceived by our children. When we fail to stop doing to really listen and make eye contact, we lose the benefit of connecting.
Having just returned from a 3 day get-a-way with my college-age daughter who was home on spring break, I was given a new perspective at how impactful time together alone can be. I realize not everyone has the opportunity to take each child away overnight, but when you have a child away at college, you have to truly dive into spending time with them when they are home. This is a new season for me, having a child in college. I have missed her more than I thought, but she has also grown up more than I could ever have imagined!
Whether you get the chance to go away camping, to hotel overnight, a private camp out in the family room or go for a bike ride together, these times add up to creating strong relationships.
When you take time to spend with your child and give them 100% of your attention, interacting with them, you are helping them feel connected. You are creating special times only between you and that child.
You want your child to feel both connected to the family as a whole, but also to each parent in their own way. As children grow older each parent plays a significantly different role, so having invested in your child with your time will help transition these ‘sometimes’ difficult times.
So many aspects contribute to a child’s self-confidence, but it starts primarily in the home. If a child feels special and important, they generally will see themselves in that light too. It is all about their perception of who they are. They will wholeheartedly accept that they are special, important enough that you will plan time with them or stop what you are doing to listen to them.
We all have great family memories stored in the back of our minds, but how many of those are from times you shared with only one parent? Family memories are important, but individual memories that you share with your child have a special way of connecting the two of you. When you have photos that commemorate times you’ve shared together, even better!
Having these memories to laugh about for years to come will be a great connector – they can sometimes become your own private jokes.
Even though I shared about going away with my daughter to get our time together, I try (and often fail) at fitting in time during the everyday stuff too. That is really more important than big trips or expensive outings, but those can be fun when you can save up and anticipate them together. It is more about the many moments together rather than the big moment. This quote sums it up:
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~Robert Brault
Do you make time for each of your children individually? What does this look like for your family?
|Susan enthusiastically wears the hat of mom, step-mom, and foster mom to 4 awesome kids. She is married to her very own prince charming, loves coffee, cloudy days, and thinks Seattle has the bluest skies. You can find her at her other day job, The Confident Mom, and her FREE 5 part miniseries: “The Opening Act” is helping moms become the Calm, Cool and Confident mom they want to be!|