Does your child need more one-on-one time? Heres how to make space for them

Sometimes our kids just need that little extra bit of attention. Whether it’s that they’re feeling insecure about issues at school, there’s a new sibling in the picture or they just don’t seem like themselves at the moment, usually we as parents can tell there’s something wrong.

They may be acting up, lying, lashing out or else they may have become more withdrawn, shyer for no apparent reason. We all have our low days, but when it becomes apparent that it’s more than just a bad day, it’s time to act.

Boy Sitting Lonely on His Desk

Showing our kids that they have our attention and more importantly, our listening ear, is vital to finding out what the problem is. If they don’t feel there’s opportunity there to have a proper, uninterrupted conversation without other distractions or life getting in the way, they may not open up about what’s bothering them.

Making space for them to build up to the conversation is important, so we’ve put together a list of things you can do one on one with your child to make them feel heard and seen. Carving out time just for them is essential, especially if there’s a new sibling on the scene.

These are ways you can open up a dialogue with your child or just make them feel supported when they’re going through a low phase:

Young African American man surfing internet on mobile phone sitting on sofa together with daughter watching TV

Take them for a long walk somewhere quiet and peaceful

Start a ritual just for you two – Sunday bike rides, Tuesday Disney movie nights – whatever gives you the opportunity for one-on-one time

Ask them to teach you something – how to do finger painting, make a Lego house – something that makes them feel in control and confident

Let them overhear you praising them to someone else

Let them vent to you over a hot chocolate or their favourite treat

Take a roadtrip somewhere with just the two of you

Bake together

Take them shopping for either school things, lunch treats they enjoy or even clothes. Whatever makes them feel they have your full attention

Back view of crop anonymous mother with reusable bag and girl choosing limes from box

Start a book or movie series together

Go on a picnic

Craft together

Redecorate their room

Ask them about their future – what do they want to be when they grow up, where do they want to travel, what do they want to try? Skydiving? Swimming with Dolphins? Writing a book?

Go out for dinner together

Celebrate little silly holidays – World chocolate day, national picnic day, hug a dog day – any excuse to do something fun!

Camp out in the backyard together

Father and Daughter Reading a Book while Sitting Inside the Tent

Plant a garden together

Watch old family videos

Have a spa night

Cook together

Plan a trip as a family, getting your child’s input

Write them little notes to show them they’re loved

Visit family

Be there at all their events cheering them on

Group of People Sitting

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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