Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Date Night

While Big Brother’s transition to having a younger sibling went pretty smoothly overall, we recognize that it is still hard for him to go from only to oldest. Busy-Mom-E and I are constantly aware of the challenge of “sharing the wealth” when it comes to giving our children individual attention. This is complicated by the fact that Little Brother still likes to be carried around a lot. Coming home after a day at work, I think both of my boys would be content to have me carry them around all evening, though my hernia may disagree. Big Brother is extremely curious, and can ask enough questions to keep two parents pretty well occupied. Little Brother absolutely adores Big Brother, and wants to copy everything he is doing. They play together fairly well, except for an occasional shove because “Little Brother was trying to get my toys.” It’s tough to have a “shadow.”

And so, recently Busy-Mom-E and I came up with the idea of scheduling a periodic “Date Night” with Big Brother. This has been a big hit, with lots of memorable fun for everyone. About once a month, either Mom-E or I take Big Brother out on a “date.” This usually involves lunch or a special snack at Subway or Sonic, followed by a trip to the playground or movie theater. In turn, the other parent gets a “date” with Little Brother to play, go to the park, or catch up on housework/sleep if he naps. The undivided attention that Big Brother gets on his date goes a long way. Not to mention, he talks about the upcoming event for days in advance, his face lights up with excitement while on the date, and then he talks about it in gory detail Ω for days ç. We’ve found that it reinforces positive behavior (he’s an angel on the date), is great time to bond with and really talk to him, and is a nice way for one of us to get out of the house for a few hours doing something other than running errands, etc.

As always, I’d love to hear about fun/creative activities and traditions enjoyed by your family, especially ways to give special attention to individual children.

Will post again on Friday,

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  1. How fun! Those will be memories that Big Brother takes with him throughout life! Great idea!

  2. What a great idea! It makes me excited about when I have kids... in 20 years haha