During Special Time, kids are in charge. Parents simply follow whatever request is made. This one-on-one time together builds trust, confidence, and emotional safety, and it can help your kids be more cooperative and kinder down the line. It can also have wonderful transforming effects on how your child approaches challenging situations, and it can open up avenues to learning.
“You could think of the majority of time that you spend with your child as the nourishing milk of parenting. Special Time is like the cream,” says Patty Wipler, founder of Hand in Hand Parenting.
Spend some time this week doing Special Time with your kiddol. With a young child it can be a quick 10-15 minute foray into uninterrupted play:
- Put away your phone.
- Hold off on that cup of coffee.
- Use the loo before you start.
- Set a timer and tell them you’ll play whatever they want.
- Then pour in the love and follow their lead.
With an older child, make it a little longer and try setting a date to do whatever they want to do. Don’t mention that school project they haven’t finished yet or the fact that their dirty laundry is still strewed across their bedroom floor. Just be quietly delighted in who they are and what they may or may not say. If they are quiet as usual, so be it. Don’t fish for information about their friends or latest crush. And this may mean loving them up while they show you their Instagram feed or the ins and outs of their latest video game.
And this week is a good time to consider Special Time with your significant other. Yes, it’s a thing! 🙂 During Special Time your partner gets to choose the activity or outing. Turn off your phone and beam love their way. This is not the time to remind them that they forgot to put gas in the car!
Need a couple of more ideas for Valentine’s Day? Prepare a special meal. Kids love novelty and when the routine is switched up a bit (in their favor!).
- Get up a little earlier and make a yummy breakfast before your kids go off to school.
- Get their favorite food for dinner and eat by candle light. Tell everyone at the table what you love or appreciate about them.
There are a few opportunities coming up that will help you connect better with your kids and handle their difficult behaviors—tools you can use for a lifetime!
Living with Teens without Losing Your Mind
- Three-hour, in person workshop on Saturday February 24th in Emeryville, California.
- Eight-week, in person class in Berkeley, California starting March 2nd.
- Eight-week online class meeting by phone Tuesdays at noon, starting Feb. 27th.
Click here for more information about the above events.
From Conflict to Cooperation—A six-week online class in spring 2018 for parents of children ages 1-8.
Get on the wait list here and be one of the first to get the details.