5 Reasons to Date Your Children
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! There will be the usual flood of posts about romantic date ideas, but I discovered recently that dating my sons is also very important. Here’s why.
1. No distractions
Parents of multiple children often struggle to give each of their children the quality time they deserve. I wholeheartedly agree with spending one-on-one time with each child every day doing things like reading books at bedtime or cooking meals together, but let me ask you something. While you’re reading that book are you really focused only on that child? Maybe you hear the other kids running around downstairs, or the baby crying in the next room, or the phone ringing. To escape the distractions at home and spend focused time with my sons individually, I created “Date Night with Mom.”
2. It’s all about him
Without a sibling trying to talk over him, I can focus on having a conversation with my son. I can sit and listen to his YouTube video ideas and his plans to help with the church’s Good Friday service. I can actively engage in getting to know him as a unique person. Most importantly, individual time with our children lets them know we are listening and care to hear what they are saying.
3. She gets to be your favorite
Everyone wants to feel special, and all kids fight over who is mom’s favorite. Well, on date night, she is your favorite, even if it is just for a few hours! Time to bask in your attention and love builds your child’s confidence and self-esteem.
4. Training ground for good spouses
Being out with your child is a great opportunity to subtly teach respect and chivalry. I encourage mom/daughter and dad/son dates, but I truly think cross-gender dates are most important. Our children learn how to treat the opposite sex through these interactions with us. They set the stage for how to treat others when they are old enough to date and give them a model for spending quality time with their future spouses and children.
5. You get to be a normal person
I asked my twelve-year-old son why he thought it was important for us to have dates. He said that when we are out alone he sees me as more than a mom and as a real person. I am not yelling at him and his brother to stop fighting, and apparently when we are on our own I am more relaxed and fun. He likes getting to see a different side of me. Seeing each other in a different context helps parents and children appreciate one another as people worth getting to know.
This Valentine’s Day, whether or not you have romantic plans, grab your kid for a movie, go out for fast food or dinner at a nice restaurant, take a walk around the park, or do anything else with just the two of you. No kids of your own? Take out a niece or nephew! Believe me, their parents will love you for it. What are your ideas for date nights with the kids?