Sometimes it might feel overwhelming to think of spending individual special time with each of your kids, when your life is already buzzing with schedules, daily tasks, homeschooling, and so on; but it’s so worth making it a priority! We noticed as we were raising our 14 children that it was the loud ones who got more attention. We began to feel bad that the quiet ones seemed to get left out. Still, even the loud ones seemed to need time of their own.
One of the ways we met this need was to implement the tradition of “special nights out”. This is when we would take one child at a time out to supper. We would let them choose the restaurant. (We made a list of acceptable options of course)
We did this on a rotating basis. With such a large family, it took awhile to get through them all, but the anticipation would build as they decided on where to go, and they’d change their minds several times before their turn came around.
When we took each child, we tried to talk about what they wanted to talk about and show an interest in what they were interested in at the time. We found that the ones that were more quiet at home with the whole gang, were often very chatty when you got them out by themselves.
We’ve recently revived this tradition with our grandkids. We love it when they all come up to our house every Friday night for family night, but it’s really hard to talk for long with any one of them when everyone is around. So, we’ve had fun taking one grandchild at a time out for supper. We try to take them back to our house to make cookies or play a board game or whatever it is they like to do. It really is fun and I think it’s something that they will remember for years to come. (They start planning the next restaurant they’ll choose on the way home from the current special night!)
You wouldn’t even have to go to supper. Going out for ice cream would be fun, or a trip to the library or bookstore or whatever they love to do. I’m grateful to God that all my grandchildren live close by, and we can do this with them. You know, time is too precious to waste. Even the grandkids are growing up so fast. The years when my kids were little flew by. Sometimes you just have to squeeze in time to make it happen. You’ll be so glad you did!
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