When we spend special time one on one with our children we show them that they are important and matter to us. Special time is giving your child your undivided attention and participating in an activity of their choice. It shows children that they are important and makes them feel good. Special time builds children’s self-esteem and let’s them know that they are likeable for themselves it also builds on the parent-child relationship.
1. Spend special time with each of your children separately.
- Younger children: 15 minutes each day
- Older children: One hour, twice a week
2. No questions, directions or criticisms
- Listen to your child
- Repeat key words that your child says so he/she knows you are listening and paying attention
- Ask questions to help your child think
- Share information and stories about yourself with your child
3. If you absolutely cannot find the time to set aside for special time, spend special time with your child when you are already together
- Bath time, walking to school, riding in the car
4. Adults can trade off having special time with different children
- If you have more than one child, parents can trade off children so that parents each spend special time with all children.
- If you have only one child, you can trade off special time so that each parent gets to spend special time every other day
5. If possible, schedule special time at the same time every day
- Children thrive on consistence and special time is something they can look forward to and count on
6. Tell your child that you want to spend time together because you love him/her
- Don’t treat special time like a chore; look forward to it. Your child will see that you enjoy it and they will like hearing so from you too