Want to build better relationships with your kids? Try taking them on a date! Hear me out…this isn’t some weird, inappropriate blog post – I promise! Life is busy. Between work responsibilities, things that need to be done at home, making sure the kids are taken care of, sports, clubs, and whatever busyness you’ve got going on in your life, time is scarce. It seems like we are on the go from the second we wake up in the morning to the second we lay our heads on our pillows at night. In our haste to check things off our “to-do” list, we often sacrifice relationships with people for life’s responsibilities. How might things look different if we chose not to sacrifice our relationships with our kids?
Think about the concept of dating. People go on dates to get to know each other better. It’s generally one on one time spent together with the intention of building and strengthening a relationship - spending quality time together doing fun things, making lasting memories, and cultivating a growing friendship. What better way to be intentional and grow a relationship with your children?
"Those times you spend with them on their special “dates” will be moments that are etched in their memories forever."
Dates with your children don’t have to cost a lot of money, and you don’t have to plan an elaborate event. Sometimes a simple walk in the park or trip to the local ice cream parlor provides the best opportunities for valuable conversations. Ask your child about his day, laugh at his jokes (that may not be funny), make eye contact, and be present. Put your phone away. Resist the desire to discipline or lecture…dates are supposed to be fun!
Dads, this is a great opportunity for you to model to your daughter how she should be treated by a man. Open doors for her, let her go first, give her your coat if she’s cold. Mamas, you get an opportunity to teach your sons as well. Arrange a way for them to pay for the date. Give them the opportunity to open doors for you, teach them how to be gentlemen.
Kids love to feel special. They want to be noticed and want to feel valued. They crave time with you and whether or not they communicate it effectively they love you and need you to invest quality time in them where you’ll build trust as you create a safe space for open and honest conversations. Your child will feel valued, seen, and respected. Those times you spend with them on their special “dates” will be moments that are etched in their memories forever.