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!
Categories: 5 tips..., Expat Life, Family, Life with children, Parenting, Raising Twins
These tips are very helpful for me and for all the Single Moms out there because we are too busy for other things for them. Thanks for this info its really a big help for me. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know. I’m very glad this helped you. I know, we already do a lot, but sometimes, sitting down or taking one-on-one time can be even relaxing. Anyway, it helps a lot us parents but also our children to feel like “family”. 😉
I am often struggling with this because my girls are so different, and they need other ways of showing attention. Also, Julia is so quiet that I need to remind myself to remember that she needs attention, too! This is not easy to remember have one-on-one time with each of your children, so thanks for the tips! Very useful!
Thanks for sharing, Olga. Especially when your children are so different in asking for attention (or need) and times are busy. But I think it’s the same like with the “me” time for moms, we need to schedule this too. I’m glad you found the tips useful 😉
Yes, also it is important to remember that children need your attention uniquely, not equally. So that means that one child needs more attention than the other, so they don’t need the same amount of time. And it is important to remember that the “easier” child needs attention, too- it is very easy to concentrate on the child who causes troubles, or is sick, or has some kind of disorder, or just needs a lot of attention because of their personality, while the easier, quiet, less problematic child often gets forgotten. I have read a wonderful article on how parents decided to move their easier child to another school because she wasn’t happy there. First they thought she’ll be fine, but she wasn’t, and they realized how much time and attention they paid to their more difficult son, and how they went out of their way to help him. Then they decided to step in for her, too- I felt it was a great decision! If I find it, I’ll share it here!
That’s a great idea! Every time we focus more on one child, we should also take an eye (or more…) on the other ones. But the most important thing in this is, not to consider the attention we give to our children as a burden. It never should be, even if we have to face very difficult situations.
Some wise/practical tips.
Thanks, I need to remind myself regularly that these one-on-one moments are very important for our children (and me too!). You’re a teacher and know that in classes this is not really possible. How did you do this with your children? I teach adults, but I can imagine that after having teached children the whole day, it’s more difficult to concentrate on your own children too – especially if from the same yeargroup as the children in school. Or am I completely wrong?
I teach high school age children. I teach in challenging atmosphere where my patience is often tested. It is sometimes difficult when I come home as I am tired of dealing with the c— from my students and want my kids to just listen. Generally, I can shut this off but when the lack of sleep mounts or after a particularly hard day, it is tough.