Do you spend enough time with your children, I am sure you will answer “of course, I am with them almost all the time” but are you? Are you truly present with them when you are together?
It is a reality in the world we live in that parents sometimes don’t spend enough time with their children, hence the “Special Time” as a Positive Discipline tool.
One of the most encouraging things parents can do for their children is to spend regular, scheduled special time with them. You may already spend lots of time with your children but you will be surprised how magical it can be even if 10 minutes of special time is all you can manage in your busy schedule.
There is a difference between regular time spent with children, time spent with the family and a scheduled special time spent with just one child at a time doing something special with that child.
The importance of having special time with each child cannot be underestimated. Having your undivided attention even if just for a few minutes in the day is so important for your child.
It gives them the opportunity to bond, to tell you what is bugging them, to confide in you, seek your advice or opinion or just enjoy their parents and feel special.
Of course, the activities you will engage with during special time with younger children will differ from activities with the older children, but the important thing is letting your child take the lead.
When we allow our children take the lead, we give them an opportunity to gain self-confidence and do what they want to do.
Children under two require a lot of time and are not old enough to comprehend special time.
Between the ages of two to six, children need at least ten to thirty minutes a day of special time that they can count on. From six two twelve, children may not require special time every day (you decide), but they like to count on at least half an hour a week.
Create special time to bond with pre-teens and teenagers. Even if they behave like it is uncool and they are not interested, insist on doing something they would call fun with them. The older they get, the more important family time becomes.
How To Implement Special Time
- Name it: Create a name for your special time for instance; Amina’s time.
- Set a Date. Let your child know ahead of time when Special Time is going to happen. Choose a time together and let your child include it in her routine chart.
- Use a Timer. It’s very important to have a timer to indicate when special time with your child is over. The buzzer or beep of the cell phone allows you and your child to be free of watching the clock while enjoying your time together.
- Avoid Structured Activities: Avoid activities that will take your attention away from them such as activities that involves the screen like movies or video games. A better bet? Activities that are more playful and encourage communication and imagination.
- Remember that during Special Time the child is in charge. Allow your child to try and do whatever it is they would like. Go along. And follow the laughter as much as possible.
- Clear your calendar. Set everything else aside and don’t let anything interrupt the special time.
- One child at a time. Special Time works best one on one, though two adults could cooperate to give one child Special Time together. But there’s no way for one parent to be fully focused on more than one child at a time.
- Respect the timer and let Special Time end.
So how many minutes do you intend to set aside for each child daily or weekly going forward sis?
I hope you have learnt something. If yes, would you like to join me in the Parenting for Jannah Academy? You should join the waitlist HERE to be notified when next we are open.