The other day, the daughter of one of my Mummy friends turned 11 (She is a pretty awesome kid!). When asked what they did, she says they played hookie and spent the day together, something that they do every year. As the eldest of four siblings, the one-on-one time with a parent on their own and having the whole day just about them, is a pretty special feeling and a wonderful family tradition. This is something that my husband and I want to implement with our daughter when she is older too. That one on one time with a parent (or both). Creating that special bond and memories, with school, work, sports and trying to juggle the everyday, its small moments like the one I mentioned earlier that will be remembered not only by the daughter but also by the Mum!
It got us thinking, what are some perfect dates that you can have with your kids to create that one on one time with them and make some amazing memories and traditions.
A few years ago, we picked Annabelle up early from daycare and got gelato. It was something so small but its something that has stuck with her – every time we drive past she yells out “look mummy its our Ice cream shop". Every Wednesday morning, Daddy takes Annabelle for a daddy daughter breakfast – (Mummy has only been allowed to one of their breakfasts) - she knows her order and daddies order too. They have the same routine and ritual every Wednesday morning before they start their adventures for the day. She is so excited when she knows shes going to breakfast with Daddy, her whole face lights up and she rushes (both us and her) to get ready. And that is the power of a parent-child date. It allows our children to be seen and known.
Now, life is busy and finding time can be a nightmare (trust us, we hear you). So we have found that hours on end isn't always achievable, but short periods (up to an hour) can be fine. We set rules for ourselves like not checking the phone or generally not being in the moment. And we dont spend a fortune, as it detracts from what we are trying to achieve, and that is Annabelle wanting to spend time with us, not have us give her something material.
The bonus of parent child dates is that they don’t have to cost a fortune, they can be simple things like going to the park, or out for breakfast. It's spending that one one one time with your child and making them feel special.
Here are a few of the things we do - see what works for you!
- Go out for ice cream.
- Coffee date.
- Go out to lunch.
- Go to the zoo.
- Learn a new skill by taking a class together.
- Go to the park and play.
- Head to a movie.
- Check out a museum together.
- Stroll through the botanical gardens.
- Feed the ducks at the park.
- Go for a hike.
- Take a dance class.
- Go to the library and take turns picking out a book to read together.
- Cooking together.
- Arts and crafts.
And for the older kids...
- Surprise them by picking them up from school and going to lunch.
- A nice dinner at their choice of restaurant .
- Have a spa day (pedicures, manicures, hair, ect.)
- A day at the beach.
- Go for a drive to your favorite place, somewhere nostalgic, or a different town that is near by.
- Shopping date.
- Sporting event.
- Concert/ Play.
- Exercise / Train together (play a sport together).
- Weekend Breakfast together.
No matter what you do, your kids just want you. Spend time together and be fully present while you’re with them. It's the small moments that they remember and treasure.