With 10 children it was hard to spend time alone with each one but it can be done. (Okay, we didn’t have all 10 at home at once, but 8 was common.) So what’s a mom to do to make each one feel special? Right now it’s pretty easy, we only have 3 at home. I know, some of you are saying only! In 4 Tips for School Days I told you how all my children got up at the same time and yet left at different times. That’s when I spend time with my youngest daughter. We have a bout 40 minutes all to ourselves. My oldest daughter at home gets home an hour earlier than the others and we have some time then, most days.
You can’t make your teens talk to you but you can make yourself available so when they’re ready they know you’re there for them. It takes a lot of time of small talk for them to open their heart to you. My son’s time is doing homework together. He rarely needs help now at 10 but he does like the one on one and talks about a lot of things besides homework. Some days he’ll even cuddle.
When we did have many more children, errands were a good time time for time alone. I know errands right, how wants to do those? But they had to be done and there’s always a time to sit in the food court (unless you’re at Aldi’s) and have a Coke and listen. I’ve rotated whose turn it was and so dod my husband so each had alone time with each of us.
I get up early and sometimes someone will come in and talk. I could guard this as “my time” and shoo them away but sometimes they want to talk then. With teens and young adults it’s usually late at night. I really like to get up early and my husband gets up at 4 to go to work so we don’t usually stay up late but there are times we give up sleep to be available for late night chats.
Now with most of my children grown I get a lot of phone calls. Some late night texts. I try to listen without stepping on toes. We meet for lunch at times, sometimes all of us girls. My 5 oldest are all girls. What fun! I have told them I’d love for them to ask for advice any time but I’ll do my best not to give it if they don’t. Most times all they need is a sounding board. I do love it when they call and ask for help, advice, even just a recipe.
The most important thing is that your child know you’ll be there. We have an open door policy for the most part. There are times we really don’t want the entire neighborhood here but most times I’d rather have them here than somewhere I don’t know. A lot of teens have talked and said they don’t talk with their parents. I’ve gotten calls from them asking advice, I do give some but always try and turn them back to their own parents.
I know it takes time, I know you’re tired, I know sometimes you have other plans or would rather sleep. But this is important! If they can’t talk to you, they will talk to some else! I have failed at times, we all do. Just start over. Children want to know you want to spend time with them. Do you have ways to spend time alone with your child?