Spending enough time with each of your kids

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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 12:42 pm
With such crazy hectic schedules, our kids included, we’re finding it difficult giving them individual attention. Even when we do have suppers together, the house is flying with the babies crying, and there seems to never be enough time to give our kids 1:1 time…even on Shabbos, they’re busy with Shul and programs…so what do you do to ensure each of your kids feels special and has alone time with you and your husband?
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 12:49 pm
Is 'the house is flying' a Yiddish expression? I've seen it here before. I like it.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 12:52 pm
My kids are still young but growing up, each night my mother would spend time with a different kid around bedtime. This was a time just to schmooze, after the kid was in bed my mother would sit with them and talk about whatever they wanted. This time was special and you were not allowed to disturb my mother unless it was an emergency. Occasionally me or my sibling would "trade it in" and use it during the day to go somewhere with her.

Another idea, each time you run errands take a different kid with you so they get that alone time that way.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 1:00 pm
A couple of ideas:
1. Each week take another child grocery shopping with you.
2. Have a rotation of letting one kid a night stay up later than everyone and play a game with you.
3. Have your husband take one child out for breakfast each Sunday.
4. Similar to three but now in the winter you can do this concept on a motzai Shabbos.
5. One kid gets to pick the desert for Shabbos and make it with you.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 1:02 pm
My kids are infant to almost 11. I make sure they all get special time with me shorter periods on weekdays and longer on shabbos/sunday. We have a family dinner every night.

Each kid is different. My 5 year old likes to sit with me while I make dinner, my 7 year old likes when I sit with him before bed. My 11 year old I give him time after he comes home from masmidim before bed time. My baby and toddler I find time in between the other kids.

On shabbos I try to give each kid a longer period and sundays I have two in school and 3 at home so I take them with me on different errands or play with them or whatever. Its not a formal system I just go with my instincts of what I think my kids need that day.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 2:19 pm
Not what you want to hear but I take birth control🤷🏽‍♀️
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 2:23 pm
Zehava wrote:
Not what you want to hear but I take birth control🤷🏽‍♀️

I don't see what that has to do with anything. I have very big breaks in between kids my smallest break being 3 years. And I don't have a lot of kids. Even so there is a lot going on with our schedules and their schedules and it's hard to find 1 on 1 time.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 2:27 pm
Each of my kids currently walks in at a different time.

That means that when that kid walks in the door, I talk to that child. How was your day what happened? It's not private because the other kids are around eating, playing, etc. But they know that the first 5 minutes that their brother or sister walks in they shouldn't interrupt.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 2:37 pm
amother [ Junglegreen ] wrote:
I don't see what that has to do with anything. I have very big breaks in between kids my smallest break being 3 years. And I don't have a lot of kids. Even so there is a lot going on with our schedules and their schedules and it's hard to find 1 on 1 time.

Ofcourse it’s a lot easier to find one on one time with big breaks than it is with smaller ones! My kids are naturally on a staggered schedule. I only have one preschooler coming home at 3 vs 2/3. That kid gets plenty of private time until the older ones get home. Same with the older ones. Same with a baby who doesn’t have to share mom with a toddler.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 3:17 pm
Quality over quantity. Even if all I have are just a few spare minutes with a kid, I'll spend it really focused on them. The younger ones enjoy sitting and drawing a picture together, or laying in my bed reading a book. The older ones enjoy playing a quick game, solving a puzzle, doing a project, or even just running an errand together but really talking all the while. Everyone is happy if I have a few minutes for a one on one snuggle.

I try to give everyone some time each day and it doesn't always happen, but more often than not we can squeeze in a few quality minutes together every day.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 3:30 pm
Im completely wiped at the end of the day. I feel awful. I can't move. Work full time. Then its supper. H.w. Baths and showers.
Fri night / shabbos day we play individual games or shmooze. But it's so rough.
I have tons of guilt in this department Hiding

Eta: my husband leaves to work before I do and gets home 8 or 9pm.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 3:32 pm
Slightly staggered schedules help. Like, some kids are waking up earlier, going to bed later.

Mostly I think it helps to have a certain amount of one-on-one time built into the daily/weekly schedule. Like, reading a story to one kid every night before bedtime, going on a walk with another kid twice a week, one-on-one conversations with a third kid while bringing them to and from an activity. That kind of thing.

(with older kids especially, like, 4th grade and up? if not earlier, it's good to have at least some of that time be good for talking. like, not just reading a book together, but a private conversation.)

And beyond that, keep the idea of time with kids toward the front of your mind, so that you'll notice/remember if it's been a few days since you had quality time with a certain kid.

Also, sometimes it's easier to have small-group quality time, eg playing a game with 2 younger kids, or sitting and chatting with 3 older kids. It doesn't quite replace one-on-one time, but even when you can't do individual time you can still do quality time.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 3:37 pm
I don't know if "enough" time is possible. We do the best we can and try to do better the next day.

Obviously the first few minutes that a child comes home from school, or the first time you see him after school, is important.
After that it's more like grab an opportunity to say something that builds connection and sends good feelings.
At this point I use text messaging too, sometimes kids find it easier to say things over text than face to face, and easier for me too to respond in the best way.
Or when kids leave home and you aren't spending time together on a daily basis, text messages are a big help.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 3:53 pm
I don't know if this helps, but...

I try to make it a habit that when my kids ask to spend time together, I say yes.
It doesn't have to be something big, but when they ask for a story, a game, once in the habit it's easier to say yes ten to plan in advance. It also shows them they are a priority.

Also, Reb. Spetner says to spend 1 minutes a day with every child. It takes time to build it into your routine, but it's usually doable.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 4:07 pm
It's interesting how everyone is emphasising the period immediately after returning from school. As a teenager, I used to be relieved if my parents weren't home when I got home from from school.

If my mother's car wasn't there, that meant she was out and it saved me from having to make conversation about the day for ten to fifteen minutes. My father worked from home, so I would put my head in the study door and say hello without taking too much time. If my father's car was missing as well, that was the best, because then I didn't have to relate to anyone.

When no one was home, it gave me space to unwind from the day without having to expend more energy relating to people. Some people will think I had an awful relationship with my parents and others will probably decide I was abused, but they are both wrong. I just found the constant interactions of the school day very draining, and was in need of time alone by the time I got home. After supper was when I was best able to relate to people.

The ten to fifteen minutes after I got home from school when my mother would want to hear about the day and to chat, didn't do anything to bring us closer. I just answered questions, volunteered the odd comment, and waited until enough time had passed that I could excuse myself to go and do homework.

Follow the child's cues, not just what you think ought to happen.
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Post Tue, Oct 26 2021, 6:47 pm
I treasure the times I went shopping with my dad. When I'm working the register and bagging groceries and people comment on my skills I always credit my father for taking me shopping and teaching my how to bag.
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