Connect Four was a game that I loved playing as a kid. I remember playing this with my sisters. One of my kids received this game as a birthday present last year and now it is fun to play with them!
Nowadays I "play" Connect Four a different way, and it is definitely something I strive to do each day! My Connect Four is connecting with each of my four children. We always do things together as a family, but I do try each day to connect separately and individually with each child. It is important for the child to have that one on one attention and I like my kids. (Most of the time!) We all have our moments when we drive everyone crazy, but in addition to loving my children, I like them. I like spending time with them and getting know what they are thinking and how their day was. The kids enjoy this time too. With a big family, it is very common to get lost in the shuffle or feel like one of the kids always gets to "pick" what show we are watching, the game we are playing and the book we are reading (I know this is also why my house is so loud - everyone wants to be heard!). This one on one time helps to validate each child and hopefully they will know that their thoughts and ideas are important and heard.
Last night when my husband got home from work, I had on my Nike's, grabbed my ipod and was ready to head out the door (before he even put his stuff down!). My youngest was already asleep and my two "middle" kids were off playing Barbies (this will be a dedicated post in the near future - my 3 year old son loves to play Barbies - a lot of time he does rip their heads and legs off, but every now and then he will ask me to change their clothes!). My oldest son came up and asked if he could come with me. I did have a moment of hesitation as I really wanted some "me" time, but did respond, sure why not! I shoved my ipod in my pocket and we quietly snuck out through the garage! I am so happy that he came with me. We had a great talk and I was able to get a glimpse of the young man he is becoming. (He will always be my baby!). He also challenged me a little. We walked further than my "normal" route and during our walk, we had three races (I won one, he one one and we had one tie! This mom still can move!). I don't normally run on my walks and really enjoyed our sprints! I also loved hearing about his day, what he did at school, his Christmas List (yes it is only May!) and the Hockey team he is following in the finals (Go Caps!). We also made plans to run in the neighborhood Memorial Day Fun Run.
The one on one time doesn't need to be elaborate, it can be doing a puzzle, coloring, reading a story, going for a walk or helping in the kitchen. My 3 year old son was in the kitchen with me last night while I was making dinner (Taco Night!). He set the table by himself and we talked about all the taco ingredients and what he likes and does not like. He likes tacos, but not the meat - he ended up eating a taco shell filled with lettuce & black olives!
Please share some of the fun one on one things you do with your kids!
Have a great day!