Fostering Connections :: 5 Ideas for 1-on-1 Time with Your Kids


As my kids have gotten older, I’ve realized how important it is to spend time with them individually. They’re thirteen months apart . . . so basically twins. They have had to share my time for their entire lives. This can get exhausting, and their cups may be running on empty without me knowing.

We do plenty of things as a family, and this is healthy. But I didn’t realize how healthy it was to get to do things separately. Getting one-on-one time with each of them is something we’ve really come to enjoy. I get to know them individually, and I get to ask specific questions about them and what’s going on in their lives.

I’ve found they actually open up to me more alone than they would in a family setting. 

It’s very important to me to create a safe space for communication in our relationships. Having this separation has helped us to establish a stronger connection. It took me a few years to realize the need for this, but better late than never. Here are a few one-on-one “date” suggestions you might enjoy.

1. Go on a date, date.

Pick out a nice outfit and go to a restaurant they enjoy. My kids’ favorite “fancy” restaurant is Olive Garden. I love going there with my kids. We get that special one-on-one time, and it makes them feel so special. This could also be as simple as an outing for ice cream, donuts, or frozen yogurt.

2. Visit a bookstore.

We can spend hours in a bookstore! I show my kids my favorites from when I was their age, and they show me theirs. If you want to elevate this date, purchase a special book and write something inside to commemorate the day. Don’t forget to add the year!

Fostering Strong Connections :: 5 Ideas for 1-on-1 Time with Your Kids3. Play their favorite sport at a local park.

The park aspect is important! As convenient as it is to do in your backyard, take a little trip. I’ve played basketball at the park with my son and he loved it. There was something about being somewhere out of the ordinary that made the activity more special.

» » » » » » »  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Guide to Parks in the Albuquerque Area  « « « « « « «

4. Take a nature hike.

Visit a local trail, or walk along the bosque. Time slows down when you connect with nature which is exactly what our souls need sometimes. My kids always ask me the wildest questions when we’re out (“Why is this like this? Why is this like that?”). It opens up so many conversations. Google is your best friend for these answers about nature’s mysteries.

» » »  RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Family-Friendly Hikes and Trails in and Around ABQ  « « «

5. Cook or bake something new at home.

My kids are at an age where they are very active in the kitchen now. They love helping and contributing to meals. We choose a recipe, and we follow it. This activity is probably their favorite! They learn to follow instructions, measure ingredients, and be patient. We get to enjoy the fruits of our labor after, and it’s always something they ask to do.

There’s no right or wrong on how to do this. It definitely will take some trial and error based on your kids’ interests. “When can we have a date?” will become a common question, and that’s when you know their cup needs some filling. Pour away, mama!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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