My Crazy Crew!
Do you have more than one child? Do you find it hard to find time to connect with each one? Here’s an idea that’s taken root in our household – maybe you’ll decide to make it work for your family too!
Jamie here! Being a mom to four boys means my house is usually really noisy. It’s good noise – don’t get me wrong – them running through the halls, yelling and laughing – slamming in and out of the house with various kids from the neighborhood – pounding on the piano downstairs or playing ninjas in the living room. It’s the soundtrack to my happy home – even though it is a little crazy.
But when all those boys are doing their thing and constantly interrupting to tell a story, make requests, or seek a referee – it’s almost impossible to get any one-on-one time with either of them individually. That’s why a few years back we started taking them on “nights out”. It was my husband’s idea – that handsome, genius man of mine! – to start planning one night a week when one child got to go out by himself with one of us.
We take turns – my husband will do 4 weeks in a row of “dad nights” and then we’ll switch to 4 weeks of “mom nights”. We go somewhere after dinner (or sometimes during dinner) with just one child and spend an hour or so just letting them talk to us. Encouraging them, understanding them, reconnecting. The idea of a date or a night out isn’t to “splurge” on them with money – but to splurge on them with ATTENTION.
Our date nights range from a cozy dinner for two at McDonald’s to a visit to the pet store just to look. It all depends on what your child enjoys and it needs to be something where you’re not distracted. One of my favorite dates with my oldest son was taking him to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard. I brought a deck of cards and we sat at a table outside, eating ice cream and playing all the games we could never play with the younger siblings. He reminded me that it can be frustrating to be the oldest – something I could relate to and talk about my own childhood as the oldest. Moments like that don’t stand a chance in my rowdy house – and I want to have lots of moments like that with him before he reaches an age where he’d rather not be seen with me.