Call the special time, “Special time with mommy” or “Special daddy time." Call it anything you wish, but give the "time" a name. It is not enough to just say "alright, now we'll do something fun..." since the child will not appreciate it.
Set a consistent time each week
Anywhere between 15-30 minutes to 1 hour per week is sufficient
Minimum of once a week; more is better if time allows for it
Plan a week in advance for location, activity, day
Put it on calendar
Set the amount of time that will be spent together so that the child knows in advance.
Never trick kids by giving them less time than you told them originally.
If a child argues about the timing and activities, make a contract but involve the child regarding the schedule for special time.
During the sessions:
• Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by other things • Do not allow any interruptions • Do not take phone calls or cell phone calls • Arrange for other children to be taken care of by someone else during this time • Spend time alone with one child at a time • Make child feel that you want to be there • Get list of different activities that she wants to do • Give her a list of suggestions so she can choose • Do not discuss school problems and behavioral issues at this time.
Remember: The goal is to just have fun together.
A Few Sample Activities
puzzles sewing window art painting oil painting reading books computer games library baking telling story