The Importance of One-On-One Time with Your Child

One-on-one time you spend with your child is priceless. It says to your child, “You are special.” It symbolizes your unconditional love mother and son togetherfor your child. There is nothing that can replace your undivided attention. Special time works best when several guidelines are followed.

Guidelines for One-On-One Time with Your Child:

  • Call the reserved time a certain name that the child understands, such as “special time.”
  • Set aside this time every day regardless of your child’s behavior that day.
  • Never take this time away as a punishment.
  • Give one-on-one time separately. One day mom and son can have their time together. The next day dad and son can have their time. Make this time for each child in the family.
  • Use this opportunity to do a fun, interactive activity. Do not use the time for watching TV or other passive activities.
  • Don’t interrupt this time by taking phone calls or attending to other distractions that take your attention away from the special time.
  • Be consistent with one-on-one time. Stick to the scheduled time and end when the time is finished.

If your child refuses to engage in “special time”, continue to pursue. You are conveying to your child that you are sincerely interested in him/her and want to have this time together.

Howard, BJ. 2002. Guidelines for special time. In Jellinek M, Patel BP, Froehle MCV, eds., Bright Futures in Practice: Mental Health-Volume II. Tool Kit. Arlington, VA: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health.