Routine breeds longevity of memories; making time for each child to have one-on-one time with each parent is fun for everyone!
Routine can make for lasting memories…Parents like to create memories with their kids and usually are great at those big moments; Disney, Daddy/Daughter dance, the Nutcracker every year. But sometimes it’s the weekly or monthly time alone with each parent that they remember the most. When I think back to memories from childhood, some of the ones that stand out are:
- my parents volunteered as coaches for my sports teams, so they were there at every game
- they took us regularly to my grandparents’ house
- most Sundays my mom made a pot roast
- every Saturday morning we cleaned our bathroom with Pine-Sol (I still love that smell!)
My husband and I challenged ourselves to spend one night a week with each child, alternating children and parent. So I would go out with the oldest child, the next week Mark would go with the second oldest, alternating so on and so on. We further challenged ourselves to only spend $10 each night!
Typical night out: First, we all eat dinner together and then the parent and child are off for their night together! Some ideas of things to do are to go out for coffee at REV coffee and chat, go window shopping, spend their allowance at the mall while being able to take their time looking, go for a walk, etc. As parents, we think it’s a little difficult thinking of things to do, but the kids are great at coming up with stuff that they think is fun! We also keep a folder for coupons that we can use for local things like doughnuts at the new Krispy Kreme in Smyrna and Smallcakes nearby. Also, if we don’t spend all of the $10 that night, they get to keep the extra money in their envelope and save it toward a bigger night out like dinner out, bowling, or skating at Sparkles in Smyrna.
Results? So far, the kids LOVE knowing that they will get our undivided attention on a consistent basis. They love to come up with ideas of things to do. They also love to ride in the car alone with us and be in control of the money for the night as well as what we do together. The kids that are left at home with the other parent love getting a night to play with the other parent “almost” alone. They also love hearing what the child got to do on their night out once they get back home.
I love that they look forward to being alone with each of us! I look forward to this tradition helping us get through the teenage years, as well as lay a solid foundation for planning alone time with our kids once they have moved on and started a family of their own. How sweet will it be if our kids decide to do this with our grandchildren!
What are your favorite things to do on nights out with your kids in and around Smyrna?