My daughter Jay is well beyond her tween years in wisdom, sassy attitude and shenanigans. Yep, you heard it here first. And, you can’t help but love her. When I really think about it, I wouldn’t have her be any other way. In between the major attitude that she shares freely, we have so much fun together. We spend our quality dates watching cartoons, doing the latest dances, enjoying pedicures while watching classic movies, and baking muffins and much more.
At this stage in Jay’s life, it’s so important for me to be present. Besides, in a few more years, she probably won’t have two words to say to me on any given day. And, that’s why I initiated our mom and daughter dates to maintain our relationship.
Planning our quality dates is very simple and goes something like this: we both pick a few things we’d like to do, select a potential date and time, and then confer. Yes, she loves to confer y’all. Lol. After we agree on an activity, it’s on. We set an exact date, and I immediately place it on my calendar.
We like to do things like hangout at the bookstore, make natural hair concoctions, sew, and try new healthy recipes, and more.
Here are 3 reasons why scheduling regular quality dates with your kid (s) will make everyone happy now and in the future.
1). It Strengthens The Parent-child Bond.
Nothing is more important to me than being a key part of Jay’s life during her tween and teen years. I’m grateful that she still likes hanging out with me. Spending quality time with your kids by doing something they enjoy makes you happy because you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime, and you’re strengthening your special bond. Jay and I are still laughing about stuff we did on our dates when she was 10. Hanging out with your kids also shows how important they are to you, and that you care about things they’re interested in.
For example, a few summers ago we went on a bike ride and decided to be daredevils by riding our bikes down a ginormous hill behind an old building. It was Jay’s brilliant idea and I was down. Of course, the shenanigans weren’t far behind because at the bottom of the hill we had to walk across a large puddle of water that was more like quicksand than anything else. Needless to say, we had cold, mushy mud up to our ankles. But our quality date was worth it!
2). The Kids Will Enjoy The Quality Time.
Even if it’s like pulling teeth to get your kiddo to hang out with you, just remember that at some point during the activity, they may start to enjoy it. If not, don’t worry about it because you can try it again later.
I can’t explain it, but I think kids like torturing parents by making us feel terrible for even thinking about spending time with them. If your child doesn’t want to hang out with you, I would do one of two things: make them do it anyway, because chances are they’ll end up having fun. Or, reschedule the activity in a few days in hopes that the kiddo will feel better, and want to participate.
Do you remember when someone in your family made you do something, or go somewhere you didn’t wanna go, but you actually had an awesome time? The same principle applies here. I’ve tried both methods and had good results. Only you know your child, so proceed with caution and a smile. If possible, try to make the quality dates sound exciting to your child. Instead of saying we’re going to the movies, say something like we’re going to see the new blockbuster movie…..
3). As They Grow, You’ll Grow With Them.
A few weeks ago, I bought Jay a hyacinth seedling plant. It was a tiny little thing that was about a ring finger’s height. She put it on top of her dresser directly underneath the window. It started growing within a couple of days, and she was so excited. One morning I picked it up to check the soil, but she said “don’t pick it up, mama. If it snaps in half I’ll be so mad at you!” We both laughed, but she was serious. I’ve never seen her take ownership of anything like this before. It was refreshing and weird.
Within a few more days, the little plant doubled in height, and Jay was beyond thrilled!
Every day before school, she opened the blinds so the plant could get extra sunlight. The hyacinth was supposed to have small pink flowers with an amazing scent. For the past year, Jay’s named the plants or flower bouquets I brought home. They had silly names like Three Musketeers in a new world, Sasha, Lily, and Sunny. Guess what she named the hyacinth? Pink Panther. I was so proud. And in case you’re wondering, taking care of plants is one of our favorite things to do during our quality dates.
Think about this: as that little plant grew, she cared for it by giving it much needed attention. And, she grew and matured with it. It’s the same concept with your kids. As long as you spend quality time with them, starting when they’re young, you’ll continue to grow with them, and share in most of their experiences. Your child will willingly share their joys and challenges with you.
I can’t even put into words how much I’ve enjoyed being Jay’s mama. We enjoy our special quality dates together. We’re happy watching The Amazing World of Gumball, and classic episodes of Tom and Jerry, and Good Times while on the couch with our fuzzy blankets. We’re also happy at the movie theater, park, or bookstore. Our mom and daughter dates are everything because we’re improving our relationship by talking about anything and everything, doing silly stuff, and having big fun. For more shenanigans with the tween, also check out Life With The Tween: She Has All Of The Answers.
Do you have a tween kiddo that you enjoy spending time with? What activities do you enjoy doing?