Spending that 1 on 1 individual time with each of your children can be life changing!
As the children grow into their own little unique beings, they require different things. They have assorted needs and want to play or talk about what suits them personally. Often this requires parents to be pulled in three, four or five directions at once. The baby needs a feed, the toddler wants to play with his truck and the pre-schooler wants to read her new book from the library. Obviously, parents are super heroes and the best multi taskers in the world, so we make this work, we sort all three kids out at the same time and then everyone is happy.
Now, as much as this may work, it is still nice to have an individual play with each of your children, one on one without the interruptions of everything and everyone else. Without the baby crying for a feed or change and without an older sibling asking you to hurry up and turn the page or read louder.
Having special time where one child can have you all to themselves is a crucial part of their development.
Of course this isn't possible everyday and for a lot of families maybe not even every week. But, you do need to make time for this however and whenever you can. Whether it's when the other parent takes care of the siblings while you head out into the backyard to go bug catching or kick a ball. Or even heading out of the house to go for a beach walk to collect shells or for older children you may head to the cinema. You may even be lucky to have grandparents that can helps out, or aunts, uncles or close family friends.
It doesn't have to be for a long time. I am all about QUALITY not quantity. 15 minutes could make all the difference. Of course an hour would be amazing, but if that's not possible, then whatever you can make work, is better than no one on one time at all.
If you are a single parent or have no family or friends support close by, this can still work. It is all about PLANNING. Pop in your calendar a day you think this will work. Maybe when one of the older kids are at school or in day care. Or when one child has dance lessons, you can use that hour to do something special with the other child as their one on one time. When the baby is asleep, use this time.
If you have more than two children, wait for the little one to have their day sleep, then pop a movie, playschool or a wiggles episode on the tv, while you colour in with the older child.
This can work and it will work. It is all about using your time wisely and planning. Please drop me an email if you would like to chat about ways to make this work with your family if you feel your situation makes this difficult. We will work out a plan together.