Spending quality time with the individual members of your family is vital. But how can you make it a priority when you never have enough time or money? Here’s how to make it work.
Time is the “currency” of relationships. There’s no way to invest in a relationship without investing your time. ~Dave Willis
You can spend all of your money on your kids, but we all know what they really want is our time. That can be tough to do when you have a large family or a busy schedule.
And you can do this without draining your wallet on fancy events or season tickets. Today, let’s talk about spending quality time with your family in a way that won’t put you in the poor house.
Tips for Spending Quality Time With Family
Why Quality Time?
I probably don’t have to convince you that spending quality time with each individual child is important. You want to bond with your children! But there are other benefits to one on one time.
It’s more affordable. Taking the whole crew out can cost a fortune. Even if tickets are “only” $7, when you multiply that by (in our case) five kids, it can get pricey in a hurry. Taking only one child for some special time makes that $7 more practical.
It’s more personal. Maybe not every child in your family loves roller coasters. But your oldest always begs to go to the theme park! Not all of them are interested in a science museum. But your third born could spend hours there.
Choosing to take just that one child makes it more fun for everyone.
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Don’t forget about spending quality time with your spouse! They need your time just as much (and maybe more). Luckily, many of these tips will work for your date night, too!
How To Find That Time
It can be tough to find the time to spend with just one of your kids. But it’s important to try to make this time happen.
A big family home is a busy one! Sometimes you don’t know that a child is struggling until you have a quiet conversation with them. A one on one “date night” is a great way to learn what’s new in his world.
Where to Start?
Start with the first born child. (Full disclosure; I’m a first born child.) Remember that first borns are often the “guinea pigs” of the family. So they should also get some perks!
Ask your oldest what he or she would do if they had a whole afternoon with just Mom or Dad. Then choose the best option from some of the ideas they give you.
If you get a sullen look or they seem disinterested, pursue that time anyway. Getting a grumpy child out on the town works magic for lightening their mood. You have a good idea of what each of your children would love to do, so go with your gut.
If you hear “that’s not fair” from the others, that’s ok. Tell them to start thinking about what they want to do on their special afternoon.
Get more advice from Moms who know on these large family blogs.
What to Do?
There are a couple of ways you can go with this. The first and most obvious way is to do something this particular child is super interested in. If we were taking our 11 year old out, for instance, we’d likely go to a minor or major league baseball game. He loves sports! If it were our 9 year old’s turn, he’d probably choose Chuck E. Cheese or some place with games.
Another thought would be to choose something you enjoyed doing as a child. Maybe your son or daughter would love it, too, if they were introduced to it.
More Quality Time Suggestions
Kids love these ideas:
- sporting event (baseball, basketball, minor league or college games)
- movie (especially a matinee or a discount theater)
- carnivals or festivals
- grab ice cream or another treat
Don’t forget to do a quick coupon search before you leave the house!
How to Fit The Time Into Your Schedule
You’ll need to decide what timing works out the best for your family. Be sure to make the time a priority or it won’t happen. Personally, I think that if one on one time doesn’t happen super frequently, it’s important enough that they can stay up late for some fun, even on a school night.
You might find that making it a regular Thursday night date works best for you. Or you may want to buy tickets in advance and put the date on the calendar to keep it a priority. Whatever makes it easiest to get some fun time in!
Related: Get A Stay At Home Mom Schedule
What About The Other Kids?
If you can afford a sitter, that’s great. Even better if an older child is available to watch the littles.
If not, try to work this out so that you and your spouse trade. One stays home with the kids while the other goes out for the one on one time.
If you have no spouse or that arrangement isn’t practical, check with a friend to see if they’d like to trade babysitting. I bet your friend would like more one on one time with her own children, too.
These tips will get you spending quality time with the kids in no time!
Next, learn how to fit your large family into a small house. (These organizing tips are great!)
What’s your favorite way to catch some one on one time with your kids?