. How to make 1-on-1- time with 3 kids
For Your Most
Challenging Discipline Problems
I have 3 boys, and I’m homeschooling them, so I’m finding it hard to give them 1-on-1 time. How do I find time to give each one the personal time he needs?
May Allah reward you for seeking ways to spend more personal time with your sons. Spending quality as well as quantity time with your children is important for their proper development.
Take comfort in knowing that by homeschooling your boys, you give them 1-on-1 attention, even if you don’t realize it. When teaching your soon to be 6-year-old how to write his letters, much of the practice involves your holding and guiding his hand, close-up contact with him, and continuous verbal direction and reinforcement. The same goes for when you’re helping your 3-year-old put his puzzles together. Even though you may be teaching them at the same time and nursing the littlest one, they are still getting personal attention from you.
Pat yourself on the back that you have chosen homeschooling as a method of teaching your sons. It is an educational method that allows them to have frequent contact and interaction with you. These crucial developmental years cannot be replaced once your sons have aged beyond them. And you are providing your kids with optimum attention from you as they move through this growth period.
The following suggestions are probably more closely related to what you are seeking in your question. One way of spending more 1-on-1 time with individual children is by making dates with them. Once a week you can schedule an outing with each child. Have Dad watch the other two while you go on a 30 to 45 minute outing with one of the boys. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. How about a visit to the park to play on the swings and slide for a few minutes? You can take a trip to the market with one of your sons to pick up some items for dinner. Be sure to let him pick out something special for himself and the other two siblings back at home. He’ll feel important for doing it. A walk around the corner can add up to 1-on-1 time together, as well.
The thing to remember with whatever outing you choose is to conversate with your child on the way to and back from your excursions. Talk about him, you, Allah, what you see on the way, whatever comes to your mind. Use that as a time to answer all of his back-to-back questions, with no frustration in your tone, only concern for your time together.
You can also use periods of activity at home to your advantage. During bath time, use those 5 to 10 minutes to smile, laugh, joke and play with one child at a time. Splash the water; let him feel with his fingers the extremes between warm and cold water; let the warm water rush down his back. Talk to him about which story he wants you to read to him after he’s slipped on his pajamas. Use your imagination for conversation and interaction ideas.
How about when you’re washing dishes? Let them take turns each day sitting on the counter to talk with you while you wash. What about when you’re baking a cake? Let one stir while the other counts to 10, then exchange their positions.
Play with them in turn. Play pony back ride. Get on your knees and ride each one to the other end of the room and back. Then let another child have a turn.
During story time at bedtime, have your kids take turns sitting on your lap for their story to be read. Or if only one story is read per night, let them take turns each night sitting on your lap.
Spending one-on-one needn’t amount to large blocks of time. Short spurts of 1-on-1 attention can be productive, as well.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about neglecting to give your sons 1-on-1 attention. The fact that you’re homeschooling them as well as seeking out ways to become a better parent show you’re doing a great job at trying to fulfill your sons’ needs, and Allahu Alim.
May Allah bless you to raise all your children up as good Muslims and bless your children to be blessings for you and your family in this world and the hereafter.
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Grandma Jeddah is the mother of 11 children and 13 grandchildren. She has taught hundreds of students for over 30 years at an Islamic school in Los Angeles, California.She is the author of, Discipline without Disrespecting: Discover the Hidden Secrets of How to Effectively Discipline Your Muslim Child--And Keep Your Peace of Mind while at It. Order her e-book or Subscribe to her free newsletter at --http://shop.grandmajeddah.com/ and http://www.grandmajeddah.com/subscribe-page.html.