By Sabrina Schlesinger
I can't juggle to save my life, but God gave me FOUR kids, so I guess I better learn!
Having four kids is fun, but making sure all of them get special time with me can also be a challenge. Not to mention husband time, friend time, and "me" time on top of it.
So here are some WHYS and HOWS to dating your kids.
There is nothing that replaces quality time with our kids. No toy, no amount of money, no phone can replicate the emotional deposits that are made in the bank of our kids' hearts then when we give them our full and undivided attention.
I want to keep lines of communication open. I foster and maintain that by deliberately setting time aside with each one and talking about everything and anything, from the silly to serious.
Most of all, I am extremely aware they NEED time with me. I know I play a crucial role in their identity, their security, and their future. They may not realize it, but they need me. They need my wisdom, they need my advice, they need my encouragement, they need my correction, and they need me to be their biggest cheerleader and supporter of their dreams.
With four kids, I have to have a rotation. Otherwise, I think I would go insane. I wish I could say I have weekly dates with each kid, but I don't have the time or money to keep that up. So, I deem it successful when I can give them one date each a month! I have actually been known to drop one kid off and pick another up on the same day, to give each kid one-on-one time when life is super busy. I call it marathon mom date day! I think my record is three dates back to back.
When my kids were younger, or when we only had one vehicle and I was stuck at home I had to get creative. For awhile, I would call one of my kids into my room, we would sit on my bed and for 15 minutes they had my full attention. No one could interrupt (unless the house was burning down), no phones were allowed, and most of all, they got to pick what we talked about or did during that time. We played LOTS of games of WAR with cards. When I am able to get away, we do a variety of dates: from FroYo (cheap and yummy), painting classes, and shopping, to play dates at the beach or park. Sometimes our dates last for hours, and sometimes they are 45 minutes! I can usually tell when each of my kids have had enough time and we are good to head back home.
The bottom line is, make the time. We only have 18 years with these kids. Do whatever you can to place quality one-on-one time as a priority in your family. I guarantee when they are older, those mommy/daughter or mommy/son dates will be some of their most treasured memories.