on dating your kids

>> April 19, 2010

What does: 
  • eating out at Denny's and talking about crushes, 
  • finding a way to get lost coming back from Taco Bell, 
  • and going into my bedroom to eat Ramen noodles and play memory all have in common? 
They're just a few of the memorable dates my hubby and I have had with our kids. In fact, the Ramen date was so enjoyed by my 6-year-old it's been requested more than once!

Once we knew my PH was entering the ministry, we talked about how we could find a way to connect with our 4 kids on a regular basis one-on-one. 

We looked at our schedules and figured that if each of us goes on a date with each child once a month, then they would get focused one-on-one time with both of us every month. It's probably one of the best decisions we've made for our family health!

Here are a few reasons I'd encourage you to find a way to tuck some of these special moments into your week…
  1. The kids TOTALLY look forward to it! We’ve had lapses here and there when things get busy, but they don’t let us go for long… they WANT to spend that special time with us!
  2. WE look forward to it! When the weeks include so much of just regular living… tackling the never-ending Mt. Washmore, refereeing sibling fights, trying to get something edible AND attractive on the table once in awhile... it's easy to forget that our children have been given to us to train (yes), teach (yes), BUT also to just enjoy!!!
  3. As our kids get older, we’ve seen this “date time” become a perfect opportunity for questions to get answered. Just last week, my oldest son confided in me about his first crush. (WHERE did the time go!?) Our date was a great place to chat about it…no little brothers or sisters interrupting or eavesdropping around the corner! In 2 weeks, when I take out my oldest daughter, it’s gonna be for her first bras! (Oh man, I’m feeling old!)
There are lots of other reasons too, but those are some of the most important. The wonderful thing about children is that it isn't so much what you do, but that you’re spending time with THEM. Some dates aren't even about spending money… like the times we go for walks at the park, feed the ducks, visit elderly church members, work on a cool science kit, or eat cold pizza and watch Youtube videos! 

The rewards of “dating” your kids can be so special… plus, it keeps them connected with you so that you will become one of their best friends throughout life. 

Soooo, I challenge you to get out your calendar and pick some times when you can date your kids. Start the tradition as young as you’d like… In the beginning you may actually be training yourself to get into the habit, but eventually your kids will be so grateful you took the time!

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Anonymous,  April 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

I love this idea! I have to admit I am weary of having PK's as I worry how it will affect them (they are 1 and 5 now so everything is pretty calm as far as that is concerned), but I feel like I am always correcting and never just having fun...this will definitely help!

Penny Franklin - New Orleans April 19, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

I can speak from experience how wonderful this is! My husband takes our 5 year old daughter on ice cream dates often. He learns all kinds of things that I hear when I pick her up from school. They both look forward to it with great anticipation.

Thanks for the wonderful reminder how great these times are! I especially like what you said about our children are given to us to enjoy! I'm going to take that with me throughout my day!

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