Every month or so, I will find a moment when it is just my child and I. (We have four kids, so this one-on-one time is not as often as you might think). I cherish those moments, just like I cherish the ones where we are together, as a family.
When I find myself in that moment, I use the opportunity to ask my kids for advice… on being a mom. I want to know how they are seeing things, how they feel, how we can improve things.
Here is what I ask:
Is there anything that you would want to change about how we are doing things at home?
Our 6 year old gives answers like “Well- I would like it if you would lay with me EVERY night and not just some nights.”
Our 8 year old has said: I wish that I could do homework in a room with just you, where it was quiet and everyone else wasn’t being loud.
Our 4 year old says: No, I love you and Dad.
Is there anything that you want to change about me or the way that I am a mommy?
6 year old: Remember how in the summertime you let us have one piece of candy from the candy jar every day? I do want you to do that again.
8 year old: I want you to read with me every night, not just as a family, but just with me. I want to play board games with you more, too. I want to play tennis, too… just me and you.
4 year old: I want you and dad to “shweep with me” (haha!! This is what he says when he wants us to lay with him in his bed before he falls asleep).
Do you ever wish that I wasn’t as busy?
6 year old: No, I don’t think you are too busy.
8 year old: Yes, sometimes I wish that you didn’t have so much to do. I don’t like to go to the gym with you, because I want to stay home to play outside. I don’t like when you have to do stuff right after school, like run to the store.
4 year old: I was busy at school today! I went down the slide three times with Ruby. (his friend)
I take these into account and I take them to heart and I analyze them… and then I improve on them. What I am getting from our oldest child is that he needs MORE one-on-one time, so I bump it up for him. What I am getting from our 6 year old is that he needs a few extra cuddles every day (he has always been a ‘touch’ type of person- he could let me scratch his back all day, every day).
What I take from our 4 year old’s words… he is pretty content just as things are.
I try to do this at least once a month because I think that it is really important to find out how our kids are feeling.
ps- This would be great to do with your spouse, as well.
What do your kids REALLY need from you?