I’m incredibly close with both of my daughters, but often with three kids, two dogs and an attention-starved husband, my time to give everyone the undivided attention they *really* need is a challenge.
It seems like all my Mom friends feel this way a majority of the time. We live in busy times with many commitments and easily fall into the trap of over-scheduling our families and ourselves. It’s OK to make these commitments, as long as you’re also penciling in one-on-one time with each of your children and your family.
When I flip the page on our calendar to start a new month, I also pull out our family planning calendar to see whose turn it is to spend one-on-one time with Mom, Dad, as well as one family outing.
Before we used our family planning calendar (you can download your copy at the end of this article), we might have gone months between solo outings with the kids. Sure, we’d find little ways to connect each day with a couple of our go-to tips, but over time, there was a noticeable increase in sibling fighting, bickering, attention-seeking behavior of the wrong kind and fits of jealousy.
When the kids weren’t getting the time to connect outside of the house, with just one parent and without the constant one-upping-behavior for attention between siblings, the bad behavior would always spike.
The individual time each parent spends with their children is important in strengthening the parent-child bond and sense of comfort they have to communicate and confide in Mom and Dad. It makes kids feel important and special and helps you connect with your daughter (or son) on a deeper, less surface-based level.
Building healthy sibling relationships are important, as are positive family dynamics, but the solo time that you create with your children, is special time to get to know one-another on a deeper level will strengthen your relationship.
Establish the habit of one-on-one time with your kids while they’re young. When your kids are grown, the strong foundation you’ve built will comfort them when they face peer situations, struggles or hardships, a strong parent-child relationship and need you to listen or help.
Start a Journal with Your Daughter and write notes, feelings, doodles and letters to each other. Write without judgement but with respect and encouragement, empathy and praise.
Some Signs that your daughter needs their own time with Mom or Dad outside of the house:
- Attention seeking behavior: clinginess, seeking affection, alternatively… increase in bad behavior for attention such as whining, fighting, actions that incite discipline, tantrums, etc.
- Complains that you don’t “pay attention” or you “never spend time with me”
- Acts jealous of another sibling and attention they get from you (whether it’s praise, a compliment, interest, playtime, etc.)
- An increase in dramatic, acting out
- An increase in sibling bickering
DOWNLOAD: Fun Activities to do with your Daughter
BONUS: Family Planning Calendar:
- Family Planner for Two Children (one date with Mom, one date with Dad)*
- Family Planner for Three Children (one date with Mom, one date with Dad, one family outing)
*Use the Three Kids printable (even for 2 kids) and make plans for a special family outing!
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