How to build an exceptional relationship with your child?
My husband and I have twin boys, and even though they are only two spending one on one time with each of them can be challenging because being twin meant being at the same place, at the same time, all the time; schools, friends' birthdays, activities, bedtime, you name it, they were inseparable. Or this is what I thought then!
However, like any twins, my boys had completely different personalities; one has a larger than life personality while the other is more of a quite deep thinker. And so, my husband and I started noticing one standing out and commanding all our attention, while the other would fade into the background and become almost forgotten.
I was talking about this with my dear friend and business partner Rowan, and she told me a wonderful idea that we have since adopted and we now practice on a weekly basis.
We started spending one on one time with each child and as we did we started seeing our each of our boys come alive each in their own unique way.
I am sure you have noticed that within your own family there is a group dynamic that is very different from a one-on-one dynamic. For that reason, spending time with your children individually is so very important, and when done regularly will reap many benefits for them, you, and your relationship together.
When you spend time with your child without the presence of anyone else, you are showing them they are important to you. Other benefits may include:
- Strengthening the bond between you and your child.
- Building your child's self-esteem and self-worth.
- Reducing the struggle for attention within siblings.
- Helping in really getting to know your child.
- Helping in identifying issues and challenges in your child’s life as they arise and supporting him to deal with them effectively.
- Creating lifelong memories.
OK, you say, but how will we make time with our busy schedule and fast-passed life?
I have prepared some simple ideas for you and your husband, so you can both spend individual time with your children. I’m sure you can also come up with some of your own!
- Have one child help you cook lunch or dinner or bake a cake.
- When possible, run errands with one child at a time.
- Take walks around your neighborhood with one child
- Join them alone for one of their interests or hobbies.
- Read books or watch a movie together.
- Do home projects together. They must be done, so why not together?
- Play their favorite game or ask them to pick an activity.
- spend 10 minutes before bedtime with each child.
- Plan a date night with each child once a month where they get to pick the activity that the two of you can do together.
Finally, think quality, not quantity. Ten minutes of being fully present for your child is better than hours with you being distracted by other tasks or checking your phone every 5 minutes or being preoccupied with your next day tasks. When we really surrender to entering our child's world, at whatever age, it's as if our eyes open wide, our hearts open wider, we can really hear what our child is saying.