Want to spend some quality time with your kids? Consider spending some precious one-on-one time with each child by planning a special Date Night. Mom and son, Dad and daughter, or any other combination therein makes for a special night out.
My kids just GLOW when they get Mommy or Daddy all to themselves. It doesn’t even matter what we do, it’s the time together that creates the joy. Spending time just with them reinforces how important they are to you and gives you time to get to know each other.
Here are some tips and ideas on how to have a perfect Date Night with your child.
First, make sure you choose an activity that your child wants to do. If it’s not, then it’s just like running another errand to your child and the magic of the evening is lost. Second, when you are together, make sure you spend time communicating. Unplug. Leave the cell phone off. This is the perfect time to ask your child about their day, their school work, what classes they love taking, and who’s their best friend. Get to know them by truly listening and learn a little more about their personality and what they love. Discuss ideas for your next date night or where the family should go on their next vacation.
Third, date night doesn’t have to be at “night” either. If you can’t schedule something in the evening, go out for breakfast together or do something in the afternoon.
Here are some ideas for a Parent Child Date Night:
1. Dinner and a movie. Let your kids choose their favorite place to dine and then go see a flick together. Bonus tip: Dads, bring your daughter a flower for your date. She'll see you as a superhero because there is Power in a Flower.
2. Cooking class. If one of your kids likes to cook, check out some of your local cooking class locations to see if they have parent/child classes. You get to talk, eat and laugh together. Mangia!
3. Museum Trip. If one of your kids is really into history while the other is into astronomy, splitting up and hitting different museums in town can be a great way to indulge your child’s individual interests and hobbies.
4. Book Store Excursion. My kids love to read so they are thrilled when we go to the library or especially the book store, because they can sit and eat. Head on over to your local book store and spend time finding a book your child would love to read. It’s a perfect way to find out what interests them. Then go sit in the coffee bar and share a hot chocolate or dessert while reading your own books together or reading your child’s book out loud. Bonus tip: Go to brunch before the bookstore trip. Make it a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning outing.
5. You’ve Got to Move it, Move it. Head on over to the gym and teach your child to play basketball. Try cross country skiing together for the first time. Go for a run together or train for a local 1 Mile or 5K race in your area. Walk to a local park and play catch, even if it's cold out. Figure out what motivates your child to get up and move it, and then get active with them. You'll benefit physically and emotionally from the time together.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to get a Date Night on the calendar with your child.
Do you schedule Date Nights with your kids? I'd love some more ideas - What have you done on Date Night?
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Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, blogger, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.