Patricia is teaching our kids to drink!
She has discovered this secret: the more they drink, the more their tongues are loosed, the more they share what is in their hearts. So she sets about to drink with them.
With the girls, she has often planned little tea parties, just Mom and daughter. A special flavored tea, a special little treat, a special teapot, special cups, a special time. She has done this since they were very small and it has created special moments for one-to-one time with each girl. (Sometimes it is a threesome.)
With the boys, she often drinks warm milk and honey or fixes them a special shake. The point is that she takes the time to create a special moment and she communicates acceptance, value, and love.
In her mind, she plans to have these special times on their birth date in each month. Anna was born on the 3rd; so each month on the 3rd, Patricia tries to connect with Anna.
Put priorities on your calendar!
Day to day events can also turn into one-to-one opportunities. If I have to make a trip to Home Depot or run an errand downtown, I intentionally ask one of the kids to go along. We “encourage” them to go if they do not have something definite planned; we operate under the belief that our will does trump their will. We tell our children that family is important. We speak about being open in relationships, open to stop what they are doing for the higher goal of spending time with one another.
So we teach them to say, “Yes, I’ll go.”
These trips together can often have "a little planned surprise,” or something unexpected may occur that becomes a shared memory. Dan and I witnessed a car accident; Will and I were in an accident together. You don’t plan those things, but they do build relationship! Just because we were together.
So, one on one time doesn’t have to be planned and complicated, it can be spontaneous and simple.
If you are together enough, you will grow together.