I am very guilty of multitasking. I try to do too many things at once and feel like I have to fit tons of tasks and to-dos in aboutthismuchtime which has robbed my kids of 1-on-1 time with me which they both actually enjoy. Shame on me! I used to allow those precious little slivers of 1-on-1 time go by. Not anymore, and you should see how messy my house is to prove it!
1-on-1 time is so critical because it really allows us moms to tap into our kids' heads and find out what is going on. These middle school years are tough – no doubt about it! I want and need to be their sounding board to comfort them, and reassure them, and give them Godly guidance the best that I can. I never want them to feel like I don’t have time for them. The house can wait. The text from a friend can wait. My kids are growing up way too fast and they can't wait!
My son’s Love Language is “Quality Time” in a big way! My daughter is a bit of a mystery as I find her to be all FIVE of the Love Languages. Whew! She sure keeps me guessing!
Here are some things that I’ve been doing for quality 1-on-1 time which may seem obvious, but to me have become very beneficial:
My son – He’s a guy, so prefers shoulder-to-shoulder 1-on-1 time and not so much deep heartfelt conversations while looking at each other. He opens up so much more when he is not looking at me, but rather while “doing stuff together” like guys do.
· Running together (when his buddies are not on XBOX Live, that is)
· Sitting and watching Sports Center or any sports on TV. He really likes for me to sit with him.
· Cleaning his room together (Yes, he is 13 and likes an orderly bedroom which I realize is unusual. He is wound a little tight like me in some areas. Poor kid! J)
· Looking at Alabama football merchandise online - Roll Tide!
· Staying and watching his sports practices
· Being at every single sporting event that he participates in. If I need to miss one, I try to tell him a few weeks in advance, like when his schedule first comes out, so that he is prepared. He ALWAYS looks for me in the stands/bleachers. My presence is very important to him.
· Watching him play XBOX. He likes me to sit on his bed and watch him play. We don’t even talk. I’m just there.
· Playing basketball with him in our dining room or backyard
My daughter – She is a girly girl who loves it all! She likes for me to buy her things, spend time with her, leave her love notes, do nice things for her (like clean her room), and give her lots and lots of hugs and kisses! One great thing about my daughter is that she is very clear about what she needs from me and will express it clearly. Some of the ways we spend 1-on-1 time together are free, and some cost me a little money. She really is an easy girl to please.
· Take her shopping (even grocery shopping which she loves)
· Bike ride - which is her favorite summertime activity
· Clean her room together (More like I clean while she sits on her bed and talks to me and watches me do all the work!)
· Share a salad or dinner at a nice restaurant with white cloth napkins (She has great taste!)
· Learn dance moves together from YouTube (like the “Tush Push”)
· Watch her sing and dance and put on little shows for me
· Watch her swim. Just sit and watch her.
· Play SkipBo or any sort of card or board game
· Cook together
· Look at Pinterest together on the couch
· Watch Chick flicks together (That’s my girl!)
Single moms out there -Please do not get caught-up in doing things that years from now will never matter like obsessing about your house or appearance. Another thing I see so much of that breaks my heart is when moms are with their kids, but are texting away on their phone or playing on Facebook when they could be playing with their sweet kids. I’m not saying you should’t do these things, but just be aware that your kids want to see YOU and not the back of your head while you are doing something else. Focused attention is critical for communication.
I’m done now. Go and have some fun and PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS!!! xo