1:1 Time


If you have 2, 3 or more kids... How do you satisfy everyone's emotional needs? Time is limited and the demands are high. That's a fact. There's chores to do (some non-negotiable like preparing food!), appointments to attend and tight work/childcare schedules for some. Maybe you have just added a new baby to the mix, bidding for your attention. Or maybe babysitting options are limited. Pressure! So fight the guilt that comes from unrealistic expectations to do everything, all of the time. Can you really expect long stretches of intensive interaction with each individual child? Determine what's possible for your situation. Weigh up quantity vs. quality time. 'Short & sweet' may be the aim of the game. It is a recipe you must keep trialling. Carefully select the best time of day when you're most relaxed/refreshed and when your child will most benefit. This may involve planning, juggling and prioritising the needs vs. wants of your multiple children. Next, select the activity that suits your child's temperament, developmental stage and current emotional state. This may be reading a favourite book, dancing, building a cushion hut, or kicking a ball. Getting out of the house may be in the 'too hard basket' - no problem - get creative. Maybe just including and educating your child while doing a chore can be enough. How are vacuum cleaners so exciting for kids? Simplicity is key. If you are struggling to get that pure undivided 1:1 time, try to make a concerted effort to be present, make eye contact and become immersed in their world (well, as much as possible)... even for 10minutes. This will strengthen your relationships, fill up your child's 'cup' and allow you to return to the necessary, monotonous adulting. However you manage to spend time with your children, please remember that they're well-loved, which IS the most important thing at the end of the day.


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Dr Sarah Bell-Booth

Clinical Psychologist

0273462707

dr.sarah.bellbooth@gmail.com

Auckland, New Zealand

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© 2020 by Dr Sarah Bell-Booth. Illustrations by Jay Allen