Call the special time, “Special time with mommy” or “Special daddy time.” Call it anything you wish, but give the “time” a name. It is not enough to just say “alright, now we’ll do something fun…” since the child will not appreciate it.
- Set a consistent time each week
- Anywhere between 15-30 minutes to 1 hour per week is sufficient
- Minimum of once a week; more is better if time allows for it
- Plan a week in advance for location, activity, day
- Put it on calendar
- Set the amount of time that will be spent together so that the child knows in advance.
- Never trick kids by giving them less time than you told them originally.
- If a child argues about the timing and activities, make a contract but involve the child regarding the schedule for special time.
During the sessions:
• Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other things • Do not allow any interruptions • Do not take phone calls or cell phone calls • Arrange for other children to be taken care of by someone else during this time • Spend time alone with one child at a time • Make child feel that you want to be there • Get list of different activities that she wants to do • Give her a list of suggestions so she can choose • Do not discuss school problems and behavioral issues at this time.
Remember: The goal is to just have fun together.
A Few Sample Activities
puzzles sewing window art painting oil painting reading books computer games library baking telling story