This week we welcome Ellen Notbohm to the blog! Ellen is the author of the book, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew. We chose a question asked by our Facebook community for Ellen to answer in her special guest post. Ellen’s advice is always helpful for parents of children with autism as well parents of typically developing children.
parent – child relationship
When I mention “date night” to my husband, he gets a very happy look on his face! In this article, I’m talking about a different kind of date – one between you and your child.
I encourage you to “schedule dates” with your children on a regular basis. A “date” is defined as a “one-on-one outing between parent and child.”
That’s ONE parent and ONE child. The benefits to date nights/days with your kids are as follows:
- While family time is important also – one-on-one dates give the child an opportunity to have mom or dad ALL to himself. He doesn’t have to compete with a sibling or your spouse for your time and attention. It’s a HUGE dose of positive attention!
- The “outing” gets you “out of the house” and away from the distractions/demands of the home and office and allows you to focus on each other.
- Strengthens the relationship between parent and child
- Provides memories that the child will remember into adulthood
A date night doesn’t have to be elaborate or cost a lot of money. It can be going to a park or taking a hike.
There are only three “requirements” for your date night/day:
- planned in advance – gives you and the child something special to talk about and look forward to
- the location is “out of the house”
- something the child will enjoy doing
Today (Friday), Brent and I are going on a date to Sbarro for lunch (his fav) and to the new LEGO store at our local mall! (He has birthday money burning a hole in his wallet!)
I sent him this silly “email invitation” earlier this week:
I would be honored if you would join me on Friday, July 10th for lunch at Sbarro and a trip to the new Lego Store at Crabtree Mall.
Can we make it a date?
Please RSVP if you can attend.
Cordially yours, Your loving mother
Here was his response to my invitation:
Totally with a capital T, I can’t wait!
And another email yesterday:
I can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s going to be a blast. Thanks for taking me.
I encourage you to plan a date with each of your children. If you have several children – have one date per week and rotate them throughout the month. Your kids will love it and you will be creating memories they will keep forever!