If you have more than one child and/or twins, you probably are concerned that you’re not giving them enough individual attention.
When your children are attending school, going to after school activities etc., they barely have time for family activities and sometimes no one-on-one time to interact with their parents. All siblings, no matter how many they are, if they are twins or not, need to have breathing space from each other from time to time. If the one-on-one time with you gives them attention and a bit of a spotlight feeling, it will boost their selfesteem and give them more balance in life.
If you have twins, it’s even more important to organize some special time with one of them, because most of the time, being in public with twins attracts public attention. When they go out on their own or spend one-on-one time with you, they have the unique opportunity to be themselves.
I consider the exclusive attention time very important and recently did set up a weekly schedule for my children.
Here are some hints about how to organize your one-on-one time with your children.
1) Take all the help you need
Do allow friends or family to help you to take your children to separate outings or arrange playdates for one child while you dedicate some time of undivided attention to the remaining child. You can always return the favour.
2) Schedule one-on-one times
This applies to every sort of relationship and maybe you do it already with your partner to nurture your relationship. Scheduled one-on-one time is very important for your children: it gives them uninterrupted time with you. The only thing you need to do is to find a moment that fits in your lifestyle. It’s almost impossible to do it on a daily basis, but you can arrange a few hours per week to dedicate to each of your children.
The time you choose should be relaxing and enjoyable. You don’t need to do something expensive. Children often enjoy chilling on the sofa listening to music or are perfectly happy to do the errands (but not if it gives the feeling of a „have-to“…). Obviously, an evening out with your teenager is very special (going to the movies, a restaurant, a theater or doing what your child likes to do with you).
3) Find a common interest
Every child has a favourite activity. Even multiples can have very different interests that you can share with each of them. It can be sport, gardening, a hobby that you both enjoy together. It is a great opportunity to learn something new with your child.
4) The power of rituals
Rituals are vital for every family. In The Heart of a Family, Meg Cox explains that “Studies have shown repeatedly that the children who are best equipped to face the rude world and stay centered are those who feel close to their families, and that closeness comes from routine reassurance and shared experiences.”
Try to establish routines within your daily life that foster the sharing of one-on-one time with each child. For example, involve one child in cooking dinner and setting up the table, the other one in preparing lunchboxes and the third one in getting things ready for the next day. Or hanging out the laundry or doing other chores in and around the house together. Also, instead of sending the children to bed altogether, take one child at a time and talk to him while he or she is getting ready for bed. – These might seem unimportant moments because they are part of our routine, but if shared with one child only, and not done in a hurry, they can become very precious moments.
Each child has the right to get the opportunity for individual attention. Find out what is best for you and each of your children. Your relationship with your child will surely be rewarded. And don’t forget to have fun and enjoy!