The Key to Connection: Making One-to-One Time with Children

Do you remember that old credit card advert, where money you can't buy things were priceless and for everything else there’s MasterCard? Well, one-to-one time with your children: Priceless.

Yesterday I managed to spend one to one time with each of my girls, and relished the renewed connection that it brought. I went out to lunch with no. 1, went to the supermarket with no. 2, and had uninterrupted cuddle and play time with no. 3. In the midst of everything else, this was quite a triumph for the day. I must tell you, this is not how a normal day goes, but we do usually manage to carve out some one-to-one time for each daughter in a week.

For us, after dinner works best when two of the girls have free time to watch TV or play, and one of them gets to choose a parent and an activity for about half an hour. The time is completely directed by the child, and she leads it. Lara almost always chooses LEGO, but it does vary sometimes, and the other two are quite unpredictable in their choices: more reading learning time, a café, a walk in the dark with a torch, cuddles, crafts, colouring, playing dolls, baking. Whatever it is, they get that time on their own with either me or Steve, and they love it.

Bearing in mind that both of us work part-time and we are all together all the time, you’d think they’d have enough time with us every day, but this dedicated one-to-one time is something they treasure. With a first child, your undivided attention is a given (hopefully!), but with more than one child finding time on your own with them does get harder. There are moments throughout the day, but this dedicated half an hour slot pays dividends in our family, especially when anyone is feeling disconnected.

Special time, as we call it, happens twice a week in our family, and fits in around all the other many activities we do, but it is vital for connection and keeping everyone happy. I heartily recommend it.

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  1. Thanks for the reminder of how important one-on-one time is. My kids are grown, but I practice this with my grand-kids now and as you say it is priceless!

  2. It's so important to make some quality time with the children. They grow up so fast. I love to do arts and crafts with my son and we enjoy bird watching together which has given us a hobby we can share with each other and get us outdoors.

  3. Parenting is such a juggling act, I also have three children, they are 13, 5 and my youngest will be one on March 5th, it is hard spending one on one time as I don't like leaving them, but in the day time I spend time with the baby while my older two are in school, the baby goes to bed at 7pm, I then depend an hour with my 5 year old daughter playing games, or reading stories etc, then she goes to bed at 8 and I have a cup of tea with my 13 year old son while we talk about school or the Xbox etc, I would like to do more activities with each one at the cinema etc, I am learning to drive so when I pass daddy can look after two while I take one out xXx


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