Why you should date your kids!
I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date!
Thinking back on the time when I started to date my now husband, it was such an exciting time! The butterflies, the romance, the spinning slow-motion camera that spun around us as we kissed for the first time! Ahhh, it was just like the movies!
We spend so much purposeful time dating and getting to know our partners but have you ever stopped to think about getting to know your kids with as much personal one-on-one time? There are countless developmental benefits your child receives from spending one-on-one time with a caring adult. I highly recommend starting very young when dating your kids. My husband and I started taking our daughter on individual dates when she was only 6 months old.
The first thing that you get to do is meet them where they are at. Days are exciting, playful, happy, but can also get long, frustrating, overwhelming, and even stressful for your kids too. It only takes a couple of minutes a day to personally connect with your child. Make time to get on their level and ask about their day. Our kids are always watching especially when they are in a state of uncertainty. They look to us to know what to do. When we can get on their level and ask about their day and walk through with them how to direct their emotions, they ultimately build more security in life. I feel that it’s vital to instill great values into my daughter early in life. By connecting with her on a daily basis I’m giving her opportunity to learn and develop her set of great values.
Regular play in a child’s life can help to regulate stress hormones. As a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor one of the number one question I get is how can I get my child to focus more, or sleep better. Toxic stress can interfere with normal development. High levels of stress hormones such as cortisol can interfere with a child’s mood, sleep pattern, immune system, focus ability, and much more. In as little as 8 minutes a day you can radically change your child’s development. Studies show that shared communication, with happiness and purpose with a parent can regulate a child’s stress response, help them do better in school, have higher self confidence and increase communication skills.
Collett Smart, a registered psychologist, educator, and author of They’ll be Okay says, “Countless studies indicate one of the key factors that builds resilience in young people is a sense of being connected to adults.”
When dating your kids as babies or toddlers, it takes less then 10 minutes to change the course of their day and developmental journey. As they get older there are a couple of things to keep in mind when connecting one-on-one to achieve the best benefits.
Only focus on one child at a time. One-on-one time is usually never a one size fits all. As each child is so different so is their connecting style.
Eliminate all distractions including time. Dates are not for multi-tasking. Your little will very much notice if they are not the center of your attention. You are making time in your day for the date, allow it to be of max benefit with all your focus and don’t cut the date short!
Make dates unique but don’t forget to make room for chatting. Picking something that your child loves to do is usually a safe idea but don’t loose focus on the purpose of your date. Giving adequate opportunity for connecting through talking can be the key to leveling up your success. But don’t push too much. Our kids will open up when they feel safe enough to do so.
HAVE FUN! Never forget how awesome your kids are. AND you deserve to play like a kid, too!
As always- all my love & support!
Jan Allen —
I really need to make this a priority with my grandkids. They are homeschooled and both parents work. Mom goes to bed early because she has to at work early. The 18 year old is left in charge of a 16 year boy, a 11 year old girl, and a four-year-old boy. I need to make it a priority to go and sit with them for just an hour or two a few days a week. I think it would help my psyche and there’s two.