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A few years ago, I saw a meme of a dad holding a bunch of flowers and taking his daughter on a date. The image and the sentiment stuck with me because the other day I went on a ‘date’ with my 5-year-old son.
What Does It Mean To Go On A ‘Date’ With Your Child?
Going on a date with your child is obviously not the same as an adult date, but some of the ideas remain the same. The principle is simple; a date with your kid is dedicated time with them, somewhere special. This is where you get to put your best foot forward; to build an expectation for your child on how they should expect to be treated on a date. Then, add in asking lots of questions and being polite. Voila! It’s a date!
Why Is It Important?
I don’t know about you, but my life has never been busier. Between school runs, two kids and work, well, I barely have time to breathe. I am not parenting alone but somewhere in all that, I know my kids miss out on that one-on-one time with mummy. Yes, we have dinner together most evenings, but that inevitably turns into a battle of trying to persuade the kids to eat their vegetables. There are also constant reminders for them to have table manners. Our daily suppers look picture-perfect, but the reality is very different.
That’s why spending dedicated time with your child is so important. It’s a great time to listen, ask questions and connect on a deeper level outside of the daily tasks of parenting.
Some Golden Rules
- Put your phone away!
Yup, I know this one seems obvious, but I am serious about it. Zero phones. Do you want to have it on for safety reasons? Put it on silent, not vibration, then place it in the depths of your handbag. If it sounds like I am lecturing, well, it’s because I’m mostly telling myself. I have every excuse in the book to quickly reply to a text or email. The truth is, that can always wait. (This might have been the biggest struggle on my date with my son.)
2. Make it fun!
Have a good time from start to finish. Get in your car and blare your music. Sing and dance your way to your date. My son might have better taste in the tunes department than me.
3. Dates are not rewards
Please don’t say, “If you do that again you won’t get your date.” I know it’s tempting to use it as part of your parenting discipline arsenal. But time with your kids should never be taken away. It should always only ever be viewed as a special time for you both.
4. Actively listen
This is where you make a conscious effort to hear the words and the complete message that your child is communicating. Active listening is a huge skill. But the basics are to keep eye contact with your child and let them talk at their own pace.
5. One selfie
Ok, I have never been great at following rules. Yes, rule number 1 still applies, but you’re allowed one selfie of you both to remember your date.
Where to go?
We love Lily’s spot out beyond Oodi. It is outdoors, with plenty of space to run around. You can also feed and pet the farm animals. Take a picnic blanket and some of your favourite foods. This is not a time to worry about too much sugar.
Entrance P60 each & P20 extra for bringing your own food.
Wimpy is a firm favourite in our house for a family meal. This is because there are plenty of options for both you and your child to eat. I am a big fan of Wimpy’s coffee. I call it Mummy’s helper. LOL. (Yes, I reward myself often with a takeaway cappuccino).
Bonus idea… If you don’t want to do a sit-down meal in a Wimpy you could always bring it as a takeaway to Lily’s petting farm. I’m all about making my life easier.
This spot is far out, but the kids love it. It has a restaurant called Zorros, a playground and pony rides. Insider info, order food as soon as you arrive. It takes a while.
Pony rides 10 mins BWP 55 or 20 mins P110 per person.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my article about going on a date with your kids. My desire is that it inspires you to get out there and have extra special bonding time with your child. I loved my ‘date’ with my son. It did also make a difference in his behaviour. Overall it was a game-changer for both of us. We are already planning our next date.
** This article is proudly sponsored by Wimpy Botswana**
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