Recently, my oldest daughter and I turned her four and a half hour drive to drop her off at camp into a bit of a road trip. We listened to podcasts together in the car, pointed at things out the window, and talked about where we might head on our next stop or what we wanted to eat. We relaxed on a commuter train that we took into Philadelphia and jumped from air conditioned building to air conditioned building in the sweltering summer heat. It was an exhausting two days, but I had a lot of fun with her.
Just before we pulled into camp, we called my wife on the phone so that she could say goodbye before I dropped her off at camp. My wife asked my daughter what the best part of the two days of traveling had been, hoping, I think, to hear which of the places that we had stopped had intrigued or excited her.
I had thought that my daughter might have talked about seeing the Liberty Bell or where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed or even the train ride we took through a historic rail yard. Instead, she said that the best thing was staying up late and finishing reading the novel that we had been reading at bedtime for a few weeks.
The smile on my face was huge.
Whether you have many children or just one, there is incredible power in one on one experiences and they don’t need to be amazing excursions to far away places. Getting your undivided attention is incredibly powerful for your child. It can help increase their self-esteem and deepen your relationship with you.
It can also be powerful for the parent, too. It can recharge you as a parent and help center your world. And providing that undivided attention can pay dividends at other times as you meet their need for attention in a serious way.
Take a look at the infographic for some steps to planning out that special one on one time.