Do you date your kids? We started this tradition late last year, when I missed spending downtime with my daughter after months of craziness in my schedule.
Our first mommy-daughter date was so much fun that I declared that we have one monthly. I know of families who spend one-on-one time with each of their kids, rotating weekly or monthly, and either with just one parent or both at a time. I think it is a wonderful tradition that allows us to get to know our children’s hearts and just BE with them.
Jane Nelsen, the main proponent of positive discipline, recommends spending special time with children as a response to “misbehavior,” as the attention and alone time with a child will “help the child feel encouraged.” (Wondering why “misbehavior” is in quotes? Join our Positive Discipline workshop on March 21!)
The activities do not have to be grand or expensive. The point is to spend quality, agenda-free (this, especially for a homeschooling mom like me who tries to make every breath a “learning experience”) time with these little persons.
Here are some mom-daughter activities that I have for our future dates.
1. Go to the playground and let your inner child play.
It’s free. It’s fun. And it shows your daughter that her mom can still swing as high as when she was a kid.
2. Get ice cream in a nearby ice cream parlor.
Who does not enjoy ice cream?
3. Start a new hobby or learn a new craft.
For January, the Energizer Bunny and I learned Gardening 101 together with other homeschoolers. We are still waiting for our seeds to sprout but learning something new together was such a fun experience.
Do scrapbooks, study cooking together, learn sewing or knitting, learn how to paint – the possibilities are endless.
4. Have a tea party.
Set a table outdoors and prepare “tea” with small cakes or sandwiches. Don your Sunday’s best and have a blast.
5. Go biking.
My husband’s one request is that we include a sport in our monthly dates. So there.
6. Picnic in a nearby park.
Yes, we do have decent parks in the metro, as I discovered recently. QC Memorial Park, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, La Mesa Ecoparks, RAVE Rainforest Park in Pasig, and Rizal Park are actually very well-maintained and are good venues for picnics. Try to go early or on a weekday, though, as it can get pretty crowded during weekends.
7. Hear Mass together.
One tradition that I want to share with my daughter is hearing First Friday Mass every month. It is never too early to share our faith with our children.
8. Visit a museum.
Museo Pambata is top-of-mind choice, of course, as are Mind Museum for the older kids and Philippine Science Centrum. However, art galleries and places such as Ayala Museum, National Museum, and Metropolitan Museum can be enjoyed by kids as young as 4 years old.
Of course, do not expect over-the-top commentaries on the art. Answers to questions such as, “Which of the paintings did you like most? Why?” will surprise you and will surely open the doors to lively conversations.
Do you date your kids? We’d love to hear other ideas!