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Planning individual “me time” for a multiple-kids household in 2024

Posted by Urban Infant Team on
Planning individual “me time” for a multiple-kids household in 2024

Regular one-on-one time spent with a parent has been shown to promote secure attachments, improve cognitive and physical development, and encourage emotional regulation. 

The challenge comes with parents of multiple kids (or parents who share custody) who might not be able to fit in individual time with every child, every day. Relax - that’s okay! The time you are able to spend with your children will have many benefits and enhance your bond with your child. Consistency is more important than the length of time you spend together each day. Even spending 15 minutes together can make an impact. 

Below are 3 key points to get into the habit of giving your kids individual “me time” with you throughout 2024. 


Tip 1: Relax and Keep It Fun  

What’s the most important thing to remember about your individual time with your child? Keep it fun! Time spent together is the most beneficial for your child when they can relax, unwind, and have fun with you. Having kids help with chores or doing homework together are important in their own ways, but the time you set aside for just them should be focused on connection and fun, not productivity. 

Ditch all Gadgets 
Yep, that means you! As parents it can be tempting to keep our phones or shows on while our kids play next to us and call it good. But for this special time with your children, it’s best to have everyone put their gadgets away and spend some quality time face-to-face. 

Set a Timer 
Setting a timer is a great way to set expectations for your child. It’s also a great way to remind yourself that you won’t be giving pony rides forever. It’s often easier to give your full attention to something when you know it’s going to end at a reasonable time. 

Let Them Lead 
Having a list of ideas of what you might do together is great, but try to stand back and let your child lead the way as much as possible. If that means you spend the entire time together building the same block tower over and over again, that’s great! As long as your child is having fun and staying engaged with you, your goal is being accomplished. 

Set Boundaries 
While your child should lead the way, you might still want to set some boundaries around what you’ll be able to do during your time together. If you know that playing with slime will make you so anxious about messes that you won’t be able to relax, it’s okay to take that option off the table. After all, you want the time you spend together to be sustainable for both of you. 

Be Consistent 
Consistency will allow your child to trust that they have your full attention to look forward to on days when you just can’t cater to their every request all day. Once these routines are established, it might be easier for your little one to accept it when you have to say, “I can’t do that right now, but why don’t we do that during your special time later?” 


Tip 2: Write down a list of activities 

If you’re just starting to implement individual “me time” with your kids, it can be helpful to keep a list of ideas they can choose from. Your list will be unique to your child, their age, and the things they enjoy, but here are some general ideas to help get you started. 

Imaginative Play 
Playing with dress up clothes, playing house, and playing with dolls are all examples of imaginative play. If your child is old enough to engage in these kinds of play, it can be a great way to stand back and let them lead the way. Some kids will love the chance to tell you what to do while playing pretend! 

Sensory Play 
While face-to-face time is important, some kids with different sensory needs or development styles might thrive more on playing side by side together instead of directly engaging. Activities such as play dough, puzzles, sensory sand, or coloring are great options for a child who enjoys parallel play. 

Engaging Activities 
While your one-on-one time shouldn’t be spent doing chores or homework, older kids might enjoy doing activities together such as cooking or baking. Be sure to let them pick the recipe and embrace the mess as they lead the way. Otherwise it might simply turn into another chore. 

Physical Play 
If you have a particularly energetic child, try to think of some ways you can engage in physical play that won’t leave you gasping for air on the floor by the end. Dance parties, cartwheel practice, pony rides, and games like tag are options to consider. Bonus points if you can have them put on a gymnastics show for you while you get to simply sit down and cheer!


Tip 3: Presence Over Perfection 

Remember, giving your child special “me time” with you is beneficial no matter what. There will be times when life gets busy or your routine changes. Maybe sometimes you can only afford to set aside ten minutes, or maybe you have to take turns with different kids on different days. The important thing to remember is that your consistent presence will make a positive impact in your child’s life no matter what.


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