Just the two of you: one-on-one time with your child


Kids often feel bad telling one of their parents they want to spend one-on-one time together. If your children are acting up, having “behavioral problems,” or getting bad grades, they might be trying to tell you: NOTICE ME!

iStock 000003610136XSmall Just the two of you: one on one time with your child

"Notice me"

So why not bring up the subject first? By hanging out one-on-one, you’ll get to know your kids better. When both parents make a habit out of spending alone time with each of the kids, the whole family will grow closer.

First, figure out what will be fun for both of you. No matter where you live, chances are, you have a great deal of options. I’ve compiled a list of possible places where you and your child can have fun and memorable time.

Before you read my suggestions, remember: not all these activities are appropriate for all ages. As a parent, you are responsible for your child’s safety. Don’t take my advice blindly: think of activities particularly suited to your child, and don’t forget to ask his or her opinion.


Here are some of the things you can do together with your kids:

- Go bowling.

- Take a bike ride.

- Go shopping for something out of the ordinary, like a funny hat.

- Go to dinner. If your kids are earning pocket money by doing chores, you can ask them to pay for the dinner. Kids above a certain age desperately want to be treated like adults, and inviting them to take responsibility can raise their self-esteem and teach them a valuable lesson. And you can help your kids practice math as they order from the menu!

- Paint each other’s faces.

- Go on a picnic.

- Go to a water park. (Never let your kids play in water unattended!)

- Take a class or join a club that’s not restricted by age. You can try swimming, cooking, rock climbing, or even chess.

- Try to write an illustrated book.

- Have a “performance night” and put together short plays.

- Have a “movie night” while the rest of the family goes out to dinner.

- Pick rocks and paint them. Create a pet rock family.

- Go camping and tell scary stories while you roast marshmallows on the fire.

- Have tea at a fancy tea house.

- Take up a foreign language.

- Try mastering the trapeze.

- Create a scrapbook.

- Look through old family albums. Show your kids pictures of you at their age. This activity is especially useful on those “rainy days” when things get rough.

- Play a game. Make up your own rules! If I land on my own property, I say the bank owes me rent! Sweet, right?

- Have a sleepover in your own living room. Build a tent out of bedsheets and spend a few hours reading books or telling stories.

If you have more than one child, try to schedule your one-on-one time when the other kids are doing other fun activities. If they are too young to be on their own, make sure the other parent or a close relative can watch them. And if all else fails, find a sitter. Remember: in some states, leaving your children alone is a crime!

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