You and Me Moments with your Child

We all know how important having a one-on-one date night with our significant other can be. Yay for Valentines Date Night coming up!

But we often forget to make the time to spend that crucial one-on-one date time with our children.

As a counselor specializing in children and parent relationships, I have one favorite assignment that I like to assign parents right away. It is what I like to call: “You & Me Time” or “Special Play Dates.” It involves setting a 20-30 minute weekly parent-child play date with each of your little ones.

This is a moment where cell phones, laptops, TV’s, and video games are all powered off, and a sign is hung on the door to avoid interruptions.  It is a moment of time where your child has your undivided attention and complete control on what and how the play will be like. They will begin to feel more empowered, encouraged, and safe to communicate how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Therefore, you both will build a greater understanding of one another and the relationship will grow stronger.

You and Me Moments with your Child

To get started:

  1. Collect a variety of toys and art supplies and place them in a bin. The toys in this bin are to be saved for the “Special Play dates.” A complete checklist of what toys I recommend can be found here.
  2. Set a consistent time and find an uninterrupted place in your home suitable for playing without distractions. Make sure it is a place where you aren’t worried of things getting a bit messy.
  3. Make a sign to put on the door for everyone to know that there is a “You & Me” moment occurring.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Curious on how I made this little door hanger?

Step 1: Gather  supplies: Wooden Door Hanger, Scrap booking Paper, Scissors, Glue, Ribbon, Rub on Words, Sand Paper, and Glitter Hearts.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Step 2. Paint the wooden door hanger.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Step 3: Cut out and glue paper on painted door hanger. Sand around the edges.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Step 4: Glue Ribbon.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Step 5: Add the Rub-on word, glitter heart, and additional ribbon.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Final Step: Hang on your door during Play Date.

You and Me Moments with your Child

Things I encourage parents to do during play dates:

  1. Set the stage by setting a blanket down for boundaries and placing the toys on the outer edge of the blanket. Try to place them the same way every time to keep consistency.
  2. Avoid criticizing or taking charge during play.
  3. Avoid lectures or giving information.
  4. Allow your child to be the boss- that means to  act as an active follower.
  5. Reflect your child’s feelings and verbally describe what you see them doing.
  6. Transitioning can be difficult at times so try giving a 5 minute warning or setting a timer when there is only five minutes left.

There is an entire therapy called Filial Therapy or Child-Parent-Relationship Therapy revolving around these basic points. For more information on play or filial therapy- check out my blog www.weedstowishes.com or look for a local Filial workshop in your area.

You and Me Moments with your Child

xo

17 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. January 17th, 2012 at 7:11 am
    Missy says:
    So sweet and so important. It is on my new year's list to spend more quality time with the kids, this just gave me a fantastic HOW? Thanks, Cristi!
  2. January 17th, 2012 at 4:32 pm
    Shelley says:
    I love the door hanger idea. That means, everyone else,.. OUT. Husband, other kids,... just a "mommy and me" moment. :) LOVE IT. I might have to use the "moment" hanger for a moment ALL ALONE sometimes too. ;) Thanks for the reminder.
    • January 20th, 2012 at 9:20 am
      Cristi Dame says:
      I know- I think I just make one for "ALONE time!" My husband and I were joking about making one too for a "mommy and daddy momment"...;)
  3. January 17th, 2012 at 4:57 pm
    julie says:
    I love this idea. My kids are always asking for more of my time and I know it is important to them. I like the basket of options. That allows me to set the stage to do things I can stand. As of right now I have to set my watch timer and force myself to play little pet shop for 30 minutes with out leaving. This would allow me to rotate options so it is enjoyable for me. Great idea, thanks.
    • January 20th, 2012 at 9:24 am
      Cristi Dame says:
      Julie- I laughed when I read your comment!So true... I am willing to bet she wouldn't mind anything you had in mind as along as you were 100% present with her!
  4. January 17th, 2012 at 5:52 pm
    stacy says:
    This is such a great idea! We take our kids on mommy or daddy dates, but I hadn't thought of just staying at home and being together uninterrupted right at home. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing!
  5. January 17th, 2012 at 6:47 pm
    nesleirbag says:
    One-on- one time with a loved one, no matter what age you are, makes all of the difference in the relationship. This idea is well thought out. Thanks, Cristi.
  6. January 17th, 2012 at 9:42 pm
    Leah says:
    Awesome ideas, LOVE the door hanger, thanks bunches!
  7. January 18th, 2012 at 7:15 am
    Melissa says:
    Since I returned to work after 12 years being a stay at home mom this past fall, I've made a commitment to spend one on one time with each of my 3 kids once a week.

    It's surprising how simple and inexpensive you can make these "moments" once you make a plan.

    My children are older (8,10,12) so the toy list isn't for us but I've started my own at home this past fall with my kids help. Just a few things we have done: girls-paint our nails and listen to their music, son-play Battleship or card game together, and if I have time to take them out quickly we hit the local book store and order hot chocolate while we browse for books. I'll read them one at the store and we buy one to take home.

    I feel this has made a big difference in the transition with me returning to work.
    • January 20th, 2012 at 9:26 am
      Cristi Dame says:
      Thanks for sharing your idea for older kiddos...You are making a huge difference in their lives by spending that quality time!!
    • February 9th, 2012 at 11:17 am
      Amanda says:
      What else do you do with your girls? My oldest daughter is 13, so always looking for ideas for older girls...
  8. January 18th, 2012 at 5:05 pm
    Alison says:
    This is awesome! Thanks for this post and breaking it down. It's the simple things!!
  9. January 20th, 2012 at 10:10 pm
    Stephanie says:
    This is a really special idea. I had my son look at this post with me and he said he would love to do this and - could we do it for his birthday?! I told him we'd get started a lot sooner than that. I already know this will be a huge hit. Thank you!
  10. January 23rd, 2012 at 11:39 am
    Wendy King says:
    Great ideas! Love the door hanger!
  11. February 4th, 2012 at 5:00 pm
    Alison says:
    That door hanging is a-door-able!! (Excuse the pu!!) Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy! You ladies have the best ideas!
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