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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if any of you have scheduled one on one time with each child. I ask, b/c I often get overwhelmed by my two boys (4.5 and 3 yr old) when they are together. They are always whining, pushing and bickering. I am not used to this, my brothers and I were not THAT bad compared to my kids, but my DH tells me that to him it's, "normal." I noticed a couple of months ago that during times when DH and I split up the kids (I take one and he takes one), my kids act like angels and instead of feeling frantic and annoyed, I really enjoy my time with that particular child when we are go out together w/o the other siblings. It's like a night and day difference. So, now I am thinking that we need to do more one on one time with each child. Do any of you do this with each of your kids? If so, can you share what kinds of activities you do and how often you do this? Thanks!
 

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My kids are 4 years and 3 months, so we don't have to deal with the bickering that you do, but we still try to have one-on-one time with each child, especially the 4 year old.<br><br>
For us, we do things that DD likes to do any way, even with her brother around--we just do them with her alone. For example, tonight I took her to play at the playground while DH stayed home with DS. This Friday, DH is taking her to a movie while I stay home with DS. When DS gets older and stops rejecting bottles of pumped milk, then we'll have the grandparents babysit him while both DH and I do things with DD. Besides movies and the park/playground, she also likes miniature golf, going out to eat, berry picking, the pool, live children's theater, the zoo, feeding the ducks, throwing rocks in the lake, visiting relatives....gosh, SO many things!
 

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My boys do <span style="text-decoration:underline;">a lot</span> of fighting. In fact any playing together ends in fighting. And one child consistently dominates everything. So if I try to play with his brother or even give specific attention he does anything possible to interfere.<br><br>
I noticed the same thing you did. So lately I've been taking turns with them much more frequently. So, "I'm spending time with Andrew and then I'll spend time with you". So I play cars with one and then do a puzzle with the other and back and forth like that. If I physically seperate them I can do longer times. If they are in the same room I have to make it quicker so the kid I'm not with doesn't get impatient. And I still have to do a lot of reminding and "it's not your turn" so it's not relaxing. If hubby is here it is easy and nice to switch off. That time is more relaxing and nice than when I'm by myself. My boys are both four. I don't know how well they would have been able to wait at three. Maybe not at all in the same room at least. And a kitchen timer might help so there is a visual--one of those dial types where you can see the time counting down. At the younger ages (3) I do remember taking one to the living room while the other was in the play room and then switch boys. But I physically put them in different spots and the one left out always was with all the toys and knew his turn was coming. I kept it short.<br><br>
What do I do? I try to do whatever the child wants or enjoys. So I might read a book with one guy and then play trains with his brother. I do try to do things though that aren't easy with both kids. One child likes to play games and the other doesn't have patience for any game not fast paced. So when I'm with Caleb time we tend to do games. Or I might do puzzles with both but a certain type of puzzle with my puzzle guy and a simpler one with the other. But really I try to just give them each my undivided attention doing whatever...which after all is really what they want. So a lot of times it is just playing cars or trains or whatever.
 

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Yes, I have special designated time with each child. They choose the activity, within reason, and we do it. Sometimes it's a bookstore together, a special lunch, sometimes the request is for dad time instead, but we do try to honor our kids desire for alone time with us.
 

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When our 22mo dd naps, our 4.5yo ds and I have time together after I finish preparing dinner. If she wakes up too early, he's extremely frustrated. During our time, he chooses if he wants to: read, play, do a craft, start seedlings.<br><br>
After ds goes to sleep, dd and I have time together.
 

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I have gone back and forth with how I feel about this topic. My dd1(8 1/2yo)really craves 1 on 1 time with me. She really loves to just be together without her siblings (almost 4 year old and 8 month old). On one hand, I feel overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities already of the kids, the house, the marraige and working part time. It is difficult to schedule time to be away from my 2 little ones when I am already gone about 15 hours per week anyway at work. On the other hand, she has a hard time getting my undivided attention because the little ones take so much of my time. I also feel like we need to be able to be together as a family and have fun together while respecting everyone's needs... DD1 understands that it is hard for tiny children to be away from mommy and for mommy to be away from them. She was in the same position a few years ago. However, I also understand that there are things that she needs to talk about to Mommy that can not be discussed while I have fussy baby in the sling and cooking dinner and keeping dd2 busy!! Soooo... our solution is two fold: she gets to stay up later after the 2 little ones are asleep a couple of times per week. We do this when daddy works late so it is just us. It is really amazing the topics that come up. She just talks non-stop!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Also, about 1x per month we go out together and do what ever she wants. Usually it's something simple and delicously grown up like having "coffee" together at Panera (she gets lemonade<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) This is working better now especially because the baby is older. Recently 4yo dd2 has starting telling me she needs "mommy time" too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Sometimes I wonder when Mommy gets "mommy time" !!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<br><br><br><br>
peace<br><br>
jen
 

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When I'm not pregnant and sick, we definitely schedule one on one time, or "dates with mama" as we call it. Once a month each boy has a few hours with me where we go alone together and do something special.
 

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Yep, we do this.<br><br>
Though to be honest, a lot of the time the alone time consists of running errands with me one on one. All of the kids seem to really enjoy that, and we go have a treat or stop by a park before or after the errands, depending.
 

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i have realized that my kids need this as well. they fight so much it makes me want to rip my hair out sometimes, and i find that when i am alone with either of them, they pretty much act like angels. well, not so much my 5yo, but that's cause she's 5 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
they also go to spend time with their dad, and that's always together as well. oddly enough, my ex told me that with him, dd5 acts like the angel while ds8 is the problem kid. when they're with me it's completely the opposite! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: and then they both behave like angels around my dh..??! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
so yeah. alone time with each parent is forthcoming <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I do it with my kids and we all love it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I just take one on errands with me. If Ceci goes with me to Target, then Carl gets to go next time we do grocery shopping. I know, not creative or anything but it's so nice for them to have all of my attention. Plus, I can be a lot more patient when just caring for one kiddo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>midwestmeg</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11604317"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do it with my kids and we all love it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I just take one on errands with me. If Ceci goes with me to Target, then Carl gets to go next time we do grocery shopping. I know, not creative or anything but it's so nice for them to have all of my attention. Plus, I can be a lot more patient when just caring for one kiddo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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I basically do the same thing. I take one on an errand with me. They LOVE it. It sounds stupid, but really I got the idea for doing more 1-1 time with my kids from watching, "jon and kate + 8." They did a series of episodes where each child did something special with the parents w/o any of the other sibs. I guess I never really thought that 1-1 time would mean so much to my kids, b/c I never got 1-1 time with my parents. I look back now and realize that it would have been nice to have more 1-1 time with my parents individually.
 

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Yes! Yes! one on one time is a great idea. My kids ask for it now because we have done it for so long. It really makes a huge difference in our relationships. Even if I stay up with my 8 y/o for fifteen minutes after his little brothers go to sleep and talk and snuggle with him I can see the effects in the morning.<br>
Kim
 

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My kids aren't really old enough for this yet, but my sister and bil did this with their kids. They would each take one child and then the next week they would switch. The kids got to pick what they would do and they set a budget of $10 I think. I have always thought that was a great idea.
 

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Yes, DH and I each do something special with each kid every week. Sometimes it's as simple as feeding the ducks at the lake or going to the library; sometimes it's something big like going to Disneyland or taking a short train ride to a nearby city for lunch. We all really enjoy it.<br><br>
We also make sure to get in dedicated family time, couple time, and alone time -- I think all are equally important for a happy, balanced family!
 
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