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Monday, April 7, 2008

Date Night

Monday is supposed to be a Dear Mom day. Unfortunately, I have not received any questions to address this week. In lieu of Dear Mom, I'm opting to tell you about the date I had tonight.

On the rare occasion that the time is available, I try to take one of my children out for a special date. Tonight, Gibson was my date. On date night with the kids, the restaurant and activities are dictated by the desires of the child. This gives each child an opportunity to spend some special time with me and do exactly what they want to do. Gibson chose to eat at the local Japanese restaurant with the hibachi tables. He loves to watch his food being cooked and the flare of the chef's display.

These date nights are fairly regular, though not nearly often enough. With four kids, it can be difficult and expensive to accomplish a date night with each child every month. Instead, we alternate. One month will be a date with Dad and one child. The next month may be a different child out with Dad, or perhaps Mom is the guest for the evening. Sometimes, one child goes out with both Mom and Dad while the others stay with Grandma. In any case, each child is a regular recipient of special one-on-one time.

Date nights with your children are just as important as date nights with your partner. During these dates, you have the opportunity to connect with your child and talk about what is going on in his life. The date night is not typically the place to address the serious issues. However, these special dates lay an important foundation for communication when the time comes to discuss those issues. Your child will be far more comfortable talking to you about sex and drugs if you have also spent time talking about his hobbies and interests.

For me, I enjoy date nights with my children because it allows me the opportunity to be near them even when they think they are too old or too cool to be spending time with Mom. Even the most hardened teenager enjoys being the focus of the day and choosing all the details of the date.

Plan a date with your child. If money is an issue, as it often is when you have children, provide a few acceptable options for your child to choose from. Most kids are content to go to the park and picnic with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as long as they are alone with you.


The Mahogany Mommy said...

I am so glad that you do this with your kids. I have always planned on doing this with my kids when they get older. I hope I can keep it up.