Families are always on the go in today’s fast paced world. There’s swimming lessons, dance recitals, piano lessons, basketball practice, soccer games, school plays, church activities, etc. All this activity is pulling families apart. When I work with struggling families I often ask them how many nights a week they sit down to have dinner together. Most are lucky if they can share one meal together. This must change. While supporting your children by attending their extracurricular events is important, children crave personal attention from parents that can only come from spending one-on-one time together. This lets children know that their parents truly care about them and everything going on in their lives. When children feel this type of love, it’s easy for them to talk with their parents. They won’t be afraid to tell their parents when something bad has happened to them, such as viewing pornography.
LifeBalance Coach Leo Weidner recommends having a “Kid’s Day” with each child every week. On a Kid’s Day, time is set aside where you can spend one-on-one time with your child that should last at least twenty minutes. You and your child should engage in a fun activity that your child enjoys. When planning a Kid’s Day, remember to plan it when it works best for the child, because he needs to be in the right mood and frame of mind. Your child can also help plan the Kid’s day by choosing the activity. This is a great time to talk about what is going on in your child’s life, and most importantly, it’s a time for you to listen and show that you are truly interested in every facet of your child’s life. It’s also a time to tell your child how proud you are of him and to give positive affirmation. Talk about all the good things he does and his special gifts and talents. Kid’s Day should not be a time to focus on criticizing or correcting the child. If a correction needs to be made, I recommend using a 7:1 ratio. For every one correction give seven positive affirmations. Your child will walk away from these times feeling loved, valued, and special! He will look forward to spending this time with you. Best of all, he will want to talk to you, and if you’re a good listener, he will want to listen to you, too (Kastleman, 2007).
Most parents believe that it’s the special events of life that their children will remember—trips to Disney World, birthdays, and holidays. These have their place, but spending regular one-on-one time with children will allow them to see their entire childhood as a special memory!
Leo Weidner also recommends parents ask their child the “Big Question” when they get together for Kid’s Day. That question is: “How can I be a better father/mother to you?” Your child may be surprised at first to hear this question coming from you, but he will then feel special. It shows him that you really care about him and his opinion (Kastleman, 2007). Some of their suggestions may be a bit unreasonable, like going to bed later or having ice cream every day. But other suggestions are priceless, like reading more stories together, playing more games together, or just spending more time together. Regardless of their responses, your children will walk away with a greater love and respect for you. You will walk away with a deeper, more intimate relationship with your child.
Kastleman, M. B. (2007). The drug of the new millennium: The brain science behind Internet
pornography use. Provo, UT: PowerThink Publishing.