One on One With Four

child-hand.jpgToday, Heather shares ideas for ways to work in one on one time with siblings:

“With four children, ages 2-5, giving each of my children the individual attention they want is truly one of my greatest challenges. Many days it feels as if they all need a piece of me at the same time, especially in the 10 minutes after I come home from work. But I have learned that even as little as 5 minutes of daily one on one time does wonders for all of us. Below are some simple ways that I have managed to carve out quick one on one time with my children (of course, in some of these examples my husband needs to be home to supervise the other three).
Clothes change. When I run upstairs to change out of my work clothes I take one child with me. They love trying on my shoes, belts, and scarves!

Laundry. What is a chore to me is loads of fun for my kids. Adie especially loves to separate darks from whites and push the buttons to start the washer/dryer.

Mail. We have turned trips outside to get the mail into an adventure. Did we get any mail? How much? Big or small letters? Will takes great pride in carrying the mail into the house all by himself.

Bath time. Yes, it's absolutely more efficient put all the kids in the tub together but I make every effort to give each of my kids a solo bath once a week. They call it swimming since they can actually spread out.

Dancing. We love dancing in our house and while we all still dance together, I now pick one up and twirl him/her through the house to an entire song. Each of my kids gets an entire song to themselves, and I end up getting a bit of a workout!

Grocery shopping. Our grocery store offers child size shopping carts and my kids love to push the cart; each kid is allowed to select a special snack treat for the week. My 6-year-old Emma is such a helper reading prices and making sure we got everything on our list.

Showering. OK, OK, who knew it was a spectator sport, but my kids love chatting away through a shower curtain.

Quick errands. My son Theo grabs his shoes (and mine) and dashes to the door the second I mention running out for some quick errands.

Washing dishes. My toddlers each get giddy when I sit them on the counter with their feet in the 1/2 sink as I wash dishes and load the dishwasher.

The nice thing about most of these examples is that they help get things done around the house while allowing for a little one on one time with each child. My kids are learning to wait ever so patiently for my undivided attention and now instead of 8 hands pulling at me (literally) the minute I walk in the door, I hear 4 sweet little voices calling 'my turn.' I cherish these short but sweet windows of quality time with each of my children.”

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