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Moms know that not all kids are alike. What my oldest might love, my second child might despise. And, even though they’re rough-and-tumble boys, their tastes are still very different. As they get older, I’ve been trying to find more and more ways to connect with them one-on-one. I want them to grow into young men with strong values, hearts of kindness, and a spirit of respect. That means a lot of discussions and a lot of getting to know them as individuals.

A woman and a little boy standing in a grassy field with a barn behind them.

We’ve tried a lot of things and some have been successes while others have been…not so much. Since all of my boys are different, I try not to do the same thing with each of them unless they specifically request it. If you want start more one-on-one time with your sons, here are some of the things we have found to be successful.

Keep in mind that your child is also a great source for ideas, so if none of these appeal to him, he might have something else he’d rather do!

1. Car Shows
One of my sons loves cars. Old cars, new cars, fast cars…it doesn’t matter, because he loves them all. On one of our special nights we happened to drive past a car show that was happening in the parking lot of a restaurant. He asked to stop, so we did and he loved it. Instead of combining your day out with something else, try to hunt out car shows and make those the special day out. The great thing about just the two of you going is that he can look and ask questions of the owners as much as he wants without his siblings saying they’re bored!

2. Sunset Walks
My quieter son isn’t a fan of crowds, so taking him to a car show isn’t his thing.  Find what works for each child.  Perhaps it is taking a bike ride or walks.  Try taking a sunrise walk in the morning (we love to do this – wake up before anyone else and take our dog, Coach, on a walk.)  Or try a sunset walk after dinner in the summertime and just chat, kick stones, and look around. Our walks have led to some great conversations and a ton of insight into what goes on inside his amazing head.   Give it a shot!

3. Train Watching
If you had asked me 15 years ago if I’d ever spend an afternoon watching trains go by, I would have said you were crazy. Now, after three boys, an afternoon of train watching sounds like a great time. We have a train that goes through our downtown area often, so when it goes by, we just watch it.  This could be a fun idea for boys.  Pack a picnic lunch and sit in the back of the van with the trunk open.  Talk and watch the trains go by and make bets to see who can count all of the train cars.   Trust me, time spent with your kids is always worth it- no matter what you do.

4. Lunch Dates
Our son, Beau, LOVES when we take him out to lunch.   Allie and I go on lunch dates often because she is done with preschool at noon and the other boys aren’t done until 3:00, but I try to make sure that each of our kids gets to go out to lunch with mom, too.   (Just one-on-one time eating & chatting. )  Our town even has food trucks for lunch, so that’s on our to-do list.   When I spend time doing this with just one of the kids, it gives us a chance to bond and talk a lot over an easy meal.  We try to pick NEW places to go, so it’s fun for everyone! 🙂

These three sweet boys have taught me so much about being a mom to boys. (It’s completely different from being a mom to our daughter… both so much fun, but different!) I love finding out what they’re thinking, about their hopes and dreams, and about things that they need help with. They’re going to take flight and be out on their own way too soon, but even then, I hope to continue finding time to spend together.   I don’t worry too much, because as of now, they all plan on building houses in my back yard. 😉   lol!

A group of people sitting in the grass posing for a picture.

We only have a few years to really be present in their lives.   Let’s spend these years wisely.  I’d like to invite you to sign up for my FREE e-mail series called One on One time.   It is completely free & I will send you this calendar to get you started. 🙂 

A close up of a calendar on a white background.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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