Going Solo with Kids

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Living in a time in which most of us juggle our daily responsibilities of work, kids, family, friends and hobbies, you may find you need to be in two different places at one time. How do you find time for yourself, let alone quality time with your kids…or even the children in your extended family, such as a niece or nephew? How many times have you needed to be at two places at once and wondered how you will make it all work?

In today’s busy world, it is more important than ever to cultivate time alone with kids to nurture and foster their well-being and really get to know their wonderful, unique personalities. Think back to a time when you spent quality time with a loved one, the depth of the conversation and the sharing that occurred. Did you learn something new and find a new level of intimacy in your relationship?

Solo interactions with children are just as important because you can learn and explore all facets of their life, their views on the world, what is bothering them at school and what they aspire to be.

How do you find the time to have these quiet moments with the special kids in your life? Get creative; ask for help if you are a parent. If you are a relative, volunteer to take one of their little ones for a play date. It will be a win/win scenario since you and the child will have an amazing time, and the parents will get a break.

Here are some ideas for grabbing some solo time with a child:

Happy Day. Implement a Happy Day in which you do something special on the day of the month they were born. Then, on that day each month, just the two of you do something special.

Walk. Take a walk together. You will be amazed if you just listen. He/she will more likely open up about their day or life in general. During this time, ask specific questions regarding their views on topics and their favorite things. You may be surprised; the child may turn the game on you and ask you some interesting questions.

Talk. If you find yourself with one-on-one time in the car, be present in the moment, turn off your cell phone, and turn off the music. Listen to what your little one has to say.

Help out with their chores. If cleaning their room is a big to-do, take a little time to help them. This is a good opportunity to strike up a conversation, make a game out of cleaning or take a walk down memory lane as you find things you have not seen in a while.

Practice their favorite hobby. Spend time doing something they love to do. Ask questions about why they enjoy the activity, guide them and let them know you care about what is special to them.

Elicit ideas from your kids. Ask them how they would like to spend some quality alone time with you. You may be surprised at their response.

Build a fire. Sitting by a fire is very relaxing and will allow you to become more aware of your settings. Use this time to snuggle or talk with your child.

Create art. Be creative together and build a masterpiece from your two perspectives. Not only will you have fun, you will have a lasting memory of the special time you spent together.

Have a dance party. Put on your favorite music and dance the night away.

Cook. Ask them to help you cook a meal or a favorite treat. This is a good time to teach them about following directions and measurements.

While writing this article, I was motivated to write this poem which was inspired by my own private moments of total exploration with children.

I AM ME
I have all the same emotions as you do.
Let me, let me, let me be.
I am happy,
I am sad,
I am loving,
I am angry.
Let me, let me, let me be.
I have potential special to me.
Let me, let me, let me be.
Let me be who I want to be.
Let me, let me, let me be.

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