This Mother’s Day, after some well-deserved time doing something special for yourself, pull out your calendar and schedule some quality time with your child. Whether it’s a special meal, a surprise outing, or an after-dinner stroll, taking time at least once a month with your kids – individually – builds strong bonds, create memories, and lets them know you love and care for them. Here are nine “Special Date” ideas to get you started:
1. Daily Double
Wind down after a long day and get a bit of exercise with an after-dinner stroll or bike ride just for the two of you. With no interruptions and no agenda, you can focus on enjoying the moment.
2. Easy Rider
Turn down the radio and turn on your ears during car rides to ballet practice or band rehearsal. Give your child your undivided attention and the chance to be heard, while you take the opportunity to learn.
3. Date Night (or Day)
Arrange for dad or a trusted caregiver to stay home with other children while you and your “date” head out for a movie, a play, or just a picnic in the park.
4. Lunch & Learn
If your child’s school allows it, surprise them at school with his or her favorite take-out lunch in a quiet corner of the cafeteria. Catch up on what’s happening in his or her life.
5. Shopping Spree
Give your child a small amount of money to spend on something special at the toy, craft, or dollar store. Give them full control over their choice.
6. Service with a Smile
Deliver meals or pull weeds for an elderly neighbor, drop donations at a shelter, or volunteer at the SPCA with your child. The preparation before the activity and the teamwork required to complete it make this a special bonding experience.
7. Chef’s Apprentice
Even young kids can help mom prepare a meal or bake a cake. The extra messes and time will be worth the delicious effort!
8. Set a Goal
Find a common interest with your child and commit to reaching a goal together. You can take up a new sport, learn an instrument, train for a road race, start a hobby, or plant a garden. All goals require repetition – a great excuse for repeat together time.
9. Surprise Snippets
Even when one-to-one time isn’t on the calendar, five minutes spent on creating something special and personal for your child can be just as meaningful. Drop a love note in his or her lunchbox, or surprise them with their favorite treat.
Do you go on “dates” with your kids? Share your favorite ways to spend quality time together in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.
Tune in later for Father’s Day ideas on spending quality time with dad!