Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thoughts About One on One With Your Children

I loved these thoughts from Todd Wilson about the pressure of trying to spend one-on-one time with your kiddos when you have a large family. I tend to go with his philosophy. So here it is.

The Familyman

Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries

This is an interesting topic and one that can leave you feeling a little more depressed after reading about it than when you began, especially if you have a bunch of children. Because the truth is, it gets harder to spend one on one time with each child the more children you have.
We have eight children, and the thought of having to take each child out for a daddy-date or a mommy-date sounds overwhelming and practically impossible. I know for a fact that my wife sometimes feels weighted down in this area. She's fallen under the impression that, for anything to be special to a child, it has to be one on one.

I'm not sure that is true or even good for a child. Maybe it's possible for a child to feel special even when surrounded by all the other children in a family. Maybe it's even better. And that is doable.

For those of us with more than a couple children, we can make it a point to hold one of our children on our lap and talk about the day, read a book to one of our youngest, or work on a project with our oldest. We can watch a family video and snuggle up to one child in particular, go out to eat and let child "D" sit next to us at the table, or go roller skating as a family and hold hands with one of our sons or daughters as we make our way around the rink.

If you think about it, maybe it's better to train our children that they can be special without having to be away from everyone else.

Not that I'm against spending time with a child one-on-one. There are times when I have to speak somewhere, and I take one of my children with me. It's fun to talk, work, and eat together. And my wife takes one child along with her when she goes grocery shopping each week. They rotate, and she buys them a special food treat when they go. The kids love it.

Although we do those things and you might implement them as well, you should not feel guilty because you just can't seem to get them alone for one-on-one time very often. Instead, try making them feel special within a family context. I bet you could even do that today.

Be real,


Amy said...

What good ideas. I struggle with one on one time with just three kids. I discovered something last night that I think I'm going to start doing. I'll post on it today.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Love the picture!

Robin said...

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I do not have a passle of yung'uns. But I agree with Todd.

I believe this notion of "must have one on one time" is one of the trickle-down effects from the "quality vs quantity" crowd. You know - the myth that you can spend a few quality minutes to make up for the dire lack of quantity hours.

Good stuff. Thanks for posting it.

Cat said...

My heart hurts when I read about one-on-one time between parents and children. I was a senior in high school before my mother spent that kind of time with me. I'd not had a 'store-bought' dress before, and I'd been chosen Senior Princess of the Something Ball. She took me to a lady's shop called the Cat's Meow and let me pick out a sweet and lovely dress. I'll never forget it as long as I live. Since then, as an adult we've had plenty of the one-on ones, but that first one touches my heart because I'd waited so long to be 'special' to her. I was one of 4 with working (teacher and nurse) parents. I believe in one-on-ones, but you could overdo it if you thought you'd have to accomplish that kind of thing with 8 kids every week or every month even. Stacie, you do a good job of taking yours one or two at a time for special things.

OurLilFullFam said...

Yes, I agree.

This reminds me of the thing in Passionate Housewives Desperate for God which talks about women who under the impression that they must have their hour with God in the morning and how hard that is with babies, toddlers, and growing families.

We should talk with God all day and not feel guilty about not having a huge section of time with God alone in the morning, every morning. I see a conncection here, because the kids might grow up to feel the only time God can be reached or talked to is during quiet time. They should see us talking to God all day, praying out loud, singing praise to him, and reading His word to them. :)

Question, how did you get the cream out of the milk. We buy non-homogonized milk, so it separates, but I don't know how to get enough out of the container to make butter. Is there an easy way to get it apart?

Thanks, and I am glad to see you are feeling better.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Catherine, my heart hurts for you. I can't imagine not spending that alone time with my family. There were only two of us, but I can remember spending hours and hours riding horses with my dad rounding up cows and we would talk and talk. You just don't realize how precious that is until you are grown up, do you?


I loved your insight. Thank you for sharing that.

About the milk, we bought it raw and the cream just floated to the top. After it seperated you can skim it and make ice cream, butter, custard or whatever with it. I didn't know you could buy non-homogenized milk that wasn't raw. That's great!

CB said...

This is awesome! I have dealt with this issue often...wondering if any of mine are feeling 'left out'...I always try to do the kinds of things he described. I also have a notebook/journal for each child that I write in, just letters for them that I will give to them when they are all grown up. I have read a few of the letters already, to my oldest, & he LOVED them. I think it's important for them to know what our thoughts are about them. & it's also interesting to find out what they're 'love language' is, so we can show them love the way it's easiest for them to receive it.

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