Creating Individual Time for Each Child

Let me set the scene for you. I just found out I was pregnant for the second time. Eden {my oldest} was 4 turning 5, and it hit me like a wall of bricks… How am I going to give another child a piece of me? How am I going to make this work? Will Eden feel neglected? How will I love 2 children with this same kind of love? These questions swirled through my mind and consumed me almost every day until Everly was born. The good news, the LOVE is just there. The bad news, the answer to every other question/worry I had was now what I had to figure out.Eden and Ev

It seems like every mom friend I have out there has gone through this same struggle when they add another blessing to their family. It’s that ‘mom’s guilt’ again that gets the best of you. As a mom you long to stop and take the time to REALLY get to know each of your children individually. Know their hearts, their fears, and what makes them tick. But how do you do this, and where do you find the time?

With Eden being so much older than our ‘babies’ {Everly and Elle}, creating this time with her is an even bigger priority. Eden is a wonderful older sister, but as we all know – when a baby hits the scene, EVERYONE enters baby mode. For a little girl, this is overwhelming, and all of a sudden she felt like she was taking a back seat to this new show. My husband and I started seeing a pull away from Eden. It was constant craziness, and although she was involved, she felt like being the ‘center of attention’ or ‘main priority’ was not there anymore. So to make sure this little one knew how loved she is, we created a not-so-scheduled plan to spend more time with her.

Date with Mom and Dad at Disney on Ice

Moms – I know it feels like something else to cross off the list, and that is overwhelming in itself – but you can do it! These are easy tips, and I promise you will LOVE this time. Some of our most precious moments with our ‘big’ girl have been when we get to have her all to ourselves for this small moment in time.

Eden and Mom at Disney

Tips on Creating One-on-One Time ::

Have a Date Night with Your Child

My husband and I each love to schedule dates with Eden. Whether it is bowling and a movie with dad or pedicures and shopping with mom, Eden looks forward to these moments. Now, every once in a while she will look at one of us and say, “Lets go on a date!” Look for clues and questions like this, they need YOU!  {Breonna also had some great ideas in her post for this just the other day too!}

Game Night

Once every couple of weeks, Eric, Eden, and I put the babies to bed and stay up ‘late.’ We let Eden stay up with us about a half hour later and play games. She gets to picks {usually it’s Uno}, and we have a blast! This kid of ours is competitive and hilarious. Some of our best moments have been during this time.

Be Involved

I know that sometimes it is hard with a busy schedule, but get involved when you can. Have lunch with your kiddo at school, read in their class, go to holiday parties. No, you do not have to make EVERY single one, but to have you there will mean the world to them. I know it sounds crazy, but our kids are proud of US and LOVE to show us off. It’s not about anything other than you being there, right beside them.

Cater to Their Interest

Focus on what your child’s interests are, and create an environment where they can grow in their hobby of choice. Whether it is dance, soccer, football, or art, find a place to nurture these interests. I know that these activities can get expensive, so look for free camps or programs at your local recreation centers or churches. You will be amazed at what is offered out there for kids! Sign them up, see the excitement, and go watch them love what they are doing!

Create REAL Conversations

This is a lesson I have learned from my husband. He is a wonderful listener, and well, this is something I am still working on. Ask your child questions and sit back and listen. Don’t interrupt or interject – just listen. You will be WOWed by all of the things you will learn about your little one. And in the process of listening, you will swell up with pride over what an amazing child you have!

Okay, all you mamas out there – How do you spend quality one-on-one time with your kiddos? Any fun/creative ideas I have left out that you have for your family? Share them with us!

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14 Responses to Creating Individual Time for Each Child

  1. Meg O. November 5, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Love those ideas, Channing! I have begun to wonder those same things you did, thinking “how can I love someone as much as Kennedy and give him/her my time?” but I’m convinced moms just know how. Love the idea of staying up late to play games!

    • Channing L November 6, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      Meg, the love will be there I promise! You are such a great mom that everything will fall into place as well.

  2. Chelsea
    Chelsea November 5, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    LOVE all of those sweet pics with sweet Eden! These are great tips that I will have to bookmark for the future. You are such a great mama!

    • Channing L November 6, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Thank you Chelsea! You are so sweet.

  3. Kelly D
    Kelly D November 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Such a great post, Channing…and definitely one that speaks to my heart too! When Hadley was added to the mix, it totally rocked my big boy’s world. I have tried so hard to create special one-on-one time, but probably not as much as I should. This definitely inspires me to do it more with Hayes…and also to start traditions with just me and Hadley too! Thank you for that!!

    • Channing L November 6, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks Kelly! Let me know if you think of any fun tradition ideas to start doing with them.

  4. Michelle T November 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Great post friend. You are an excellent mama to those 3 gorgeous girls and I know E treasures that special time with you!

    • Channing L November 6, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you! This mama needs that encouragement today.

  5. Mandi @ All My Happy Endings November 6, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    What a lovely post! Parents of subsequent children typically feel this way, but they’re too afraid to admit it. I know…I’m pregnant with my 4th, and those same concerns haunt me still.

    I wanted to see if you might be interested in doing a guest post for me in January or February? I am having a baby then, and will be on maternity leave. I would love to host an original post of yours — something along the lines of motherhood, activities with children, and/or the like. Email me at [email protected] so we can chat more. xoxo

    • Channing L November 6, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Thank you Mandi! That concern never goes away, does it? I will definitely email you. Congrats on baby #4!

  6. Jessica and Sarah
    Jessica and Sarah November 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Great advice Channing! And perfect timing for me!!!

    • Channing L November 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks!

  7. Heather M
    Heather M November 8, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Love these tips! I still have a while before I’ll have a baby #2 but the guilt has definitely crossed my mind!

    • Channing L November 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks Heather! I wrote this as a reminder to myself too.

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