Dating Your Kids: 10 Fresh Date Ideas to Get You Started
All too often I have gotten to the end of the day and stopped to realize that I was never fully present with my children. Sure I was there in the flesh. But my mind was constantly multitasking: making mental lists of everything I needed to add to my to-do list for the next day or who I forgot to respond to via text, or if I replied to so and so’s email. If my mind was there, my body wasn’t as I raced around trying to prepare dinner, gather a grocery list, change a diaper and respond to various other needs. It was in this realization and in my quest to redefine family my husband and I began dating our boys. The power of quality time is not one to underestimate, especially as we add more children to our brood. It is so easy to become consumed with day to day menial tasks that I often forget the importance of really being with my children. I don’t want my kids to go through life thinking I value trivial things more than them. As it is in our married relationship after a “date” we always feel closer and more connected…like we matter, are valued and have purpose. It is the same in our relationships with our children. In this realization that we decided dating our kids would be as important as dating each other. It isn’t as easy as it sounds though.
10 Date Ideas To Get You Started…
- Go to a local coffee shop. Bring some cards, a favorite game, or a puzzle. Have some cocoa, share a treat, and maybe even let them win
- Go for ‘backwards’ ice cream. This is especially fun if it’s a before dinner treat…something out of the ordinary.
- Create a scavenger hunt thrifting or yard saling. Create a scavenger hunt out of treasures you might find at a thrift store or visiting yard sales and take pictures of each item. Consider turning it in to a game with points and prizes. Or start a collection together…cool bottles, neat hats, etc.
- Create a photo project. Hand over your camera and give your child an assignment. E.g. Take pictures of everything you see that is red. Once you’re home print off the pictures and create a collage together.
- Picnic at different parks. You could make it a goal to check out a new park every time. I know our town has 69 parks and we’ve only explored about ½. Bring along a Frisbee, a soccer ball, and/or a kite. Don’t forget a blanket and some food.
- Go for a fancy meal. If your kids are young enough to need some entertainment while waiting for food bring some coloring books and markers and color together. Try going to a new place each time and talk about what you liked and didn’t like about each place. Dress up. Treat it like a real bone-fide grown up date.
- Volunteer together. Not only are you getting time together but this is such a great way to teach them about serving others.
- Get outdoors. Take advantage of what your local community offers and what season it is. Swimming? Biking trails? Hiking? Skiing? Floating the river? Visiting an orchard? Take along a bag of snacks, water and containers in which to collect special treasures along the way.
- Go to the zoo. Don’t have a zoo? How about a museum, a play, a sporting event, a book reading, live music, etc.
- Ask your child what THEY want to do. Give them a budget. Let them plan the whole thing. (Your child may need help planning the date from the other parent depending on age).
It’s not about quantity, it’s about planning and spending quality distraction free, engaging time with and focusing on your kids. In a follow up post I will go in to more detail about how you to date your kids. Some is of the how-tos are pretty self explanatory but have you considered the necessity of leading by example?
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