We all hear how we need a date night with our spouse, and we are huge promoters of that! But what about your kids? If you are anything like my family, finding ways to connect with your kids feels daunting. And there may be heaping loads of guilt as well. We are all so busy!
Big Sis was an only child for 5 years. We were so naive about spending quality time together! It just happened, right? Well, when the littles were born that changed. We found that the bulk of her attention was telling her to be quiet because they were sleeping! Yikes. Twin parenting is hard. We were sleep deprived and cranky. But I knew that she needed more from me than “Shhh!” But what to do? I was already SO tired. Beyond tired.
As I thought about this, and accepted grace so I could think about it without shame/guilt, I realized that just as Jeremy and I needed time alone from our kids to connect and grow relationally, each of my kids did as well.
So, as a family we instituted dates! Jeremy and I have our date night every Friday (more on that in another post) and each of our kids get time with just Mom or just Dad every other week. At first we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make these really special. And while occasionally we will do something really cool, we have found that inviting our kids to be a part of our lives and for them to invite us into their life can be pretty simple.
What does this look like?
First of all, no matter how simple or routine the activity, calling it a date makes it special. Calling attention to this special time together – naming it – has been instrumental in increasing the quality of this time. The kids hear that word and all of the thoughts, worries, and dreams that have been bubbling right under the surface come out and makes connecting in a small amount of time doable and enjoyable!
Here is a run down of a recent date Little Sis and I went on a few weeks ago to the Westerville Public Library. We need a steady supply of books in our house so we need to frequent at least twice a month – we turned this into a routine date!
I LOVE our local libraries here in Central Ohio. They truly are gems! They are dedicated to curating kid fun around reading and learning that amaze me every time I step inside. The kids portion is tucked away so that kids can be kids. Not too much shhh’ing here while we work on our library manners!
The Westerville Library’s main theme in the kid area is Tree House. I love how this theme is woven throughout the space.
Every month, around the second, they introduce a new learning theme. March’s was Farm Chores. They get really creative with the interactive activities!
I also love how the books in this area are at their eye level. So much thought has gone into making the library accessible to our kids!
Let me know in the comments what you and your kids love to do together and whether you have tried kid dates! We will be posting more ideas in the future!