Spending as little as ten minutes at a time will teach your kids a valuable life skill by demonstrating that family comes first and that spending quality time with them is a priority. The Positive Parenting Field recommends ten minutes of special time per day for children two to six years old, 30 minutes of special time per week for children seven to ten, and only one activity per month (of their choosing) for teens.
In those brief moments with your child, it is important to be a friend who wants to have fun. Those minutes are for your child to feel special—to be king or queen. You just play to build bridges of love and secure emotional connections.
Before starting “special time”, explain to them how much time the two of you will have and that it is meant to be only for you two. When the time comes to an end, (using a timer with small children can be helpful) give him or her a big hug, help them tidy up toys if need be, and tell them that you look forward to your time with them next time.
Special time is an effective tool in restoring the relationship between a child and parent. When you feel authentically connected to someone, you become more tolerant of their differences, and this encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship.
HEBA MAHDY IS A CERTIFIED POSITIVE DISCIPLINE PARENT AND CLASSROOM EDUCATOR, CERTIFIED SOFT-SKILLS TRAINER, AND THE FOUNDER OF NINJAMAMY.COM.