I love having a handful of children. They make life worth living and give me a reason to wake up each day. They each have their own personality, joys, dislikes, and everything in between. The biggest challenge we face as a large family in finding one on one time with all of the children. Sometimes it takes creativity and planning to allow each child to get the attention they need to grow and thrive.
Practical ways large families find one on one time for children.
Homeschooling gives us a great way to connect with each child on an individual level. While other children work on a project or play together older children take time one on one to work on more advanced stuff in reading, science, math, and history. While not the most fun way to get one on one time in it is truly beneficial.
Working on chores around the house is a great way I find time to spend one on one with the children. My oldest loves to help me in the kitchen giving us time to chat and me to teach her cooking skills to fit her passion and drive to eventually become a chef. Her help allows me to get our meals done faster and makes working in the kitchen fun as we laugh and chat.
Taking one child to run errands to the supermarket and such is a great way we find time to spend with each child. We often sneak off for a treat when we do this so we can sit and chat for a few minutes.
Babies get the most one on one time due to their need of constant attention and help. As a breastfeeding mother that can not be avoided as a baby is nearly always attached. As they get older and can spend time in the swing napping the remainder of the family gets back into the swing of things.
Fun to find one on one time in a large family
Sometimes you just have to take finding one on one time into your own hands. My sister still picks on me for the night last year when my husband caught me playing dolls with my oldest at 1 AM. We had so much fun laughing and playing when he walked into our room and found us on my bed with a pile of dolls and a doll house. Sometimes you just gotta break the ordinary.
Last year my son got a baseball and mitt for his birthday. Heading into the field next door is a great way for us to spend one on one time playing catch while the other children stay inside the fence where I can see them.
While I would like to say I get one one one time with the kids out doing fun stuff often I would be lying. We split the kids up for field trips and eating out where I spend time with two at a time. I look for activities for the older children where one can run off for a few while I chat with the other. For the toddlers, they have to stick together but two on one is still much better ratio for quality time.
One great way we sneak one on one time in is to spend time cuddled and reading books together. That quality time goes a long way in enjoying ourselves randomly through the day while other children play or work on a project.