Bonding, one child at a time

Filed under: Just For Moms, Toddlers Preschoolers, Teens, Activities: Babies, Siblings, Development/Milestones: Babies

Until we added a third child to our brood, I thought I maintained a somewhat stable existence. But once the third one arrived, I found that time and again I missed the parenting boat when it came to some of the important matters in our family. Some mothers seem to be able to intercept all incoming child demands and comments with supreme efficiency. But as I hear one child saying one thing, another screaming something different while I watch the last one toddle off into some abyss of danger, I find myself wondering just how life came to be this way.

So in an effort to wipe the semi-permanent glaze of confusion from my face, I have taken to spending quality time with the kids in a one to one ratio. It takes a bit of planning and effort, but the outcome seems to be working. Last night I waited until the toddler was asleep and the middle child was content. I got a babysitter for them both and took my oldest son out for a hike. As soon as we got in the car his mouth opened, his chatter began and I settled in for a nice long listen. We hiked for a brief time, found a rocky perch with a good view and then spent a solid hour discussing the life of a 13 year-old boy, my son's favorite subject.

The opportunity to listen and laugh without the constant interruptions of the other siblings was absolutely golden. I do love being with all three, though I am secretly grateful that we have capped the number of children in our house to that number. But a quiet moment with just one the kids is a beautiful thing. What about you? Do you thrive on the chaos of multiple kids? Or do you, too, crave a moment of tranquility?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.