Our family home is hectic, with three children, even when its quiet there are things going on; little minds whirring and worrying about secret dramas, walls to be scribbled on and so on. I must admit I generally treat the children like a herd of sheep, ferrying them backwards and forwards to places, making them eat dinner, snacks etc at the same time. If you take homework help out of the equation then I think I’d find that we spend hardly any time alone with each of the children. This is probably the case in your household as well and is such a shame.
I’m well aware of how much the children get out of spending time individually with either of us. That way they can tell us their hopes, fears, dreams and you get to find out a little bit more about your child. Its just finding that time!
I’ve been trying quite hard to think of things to do with each of them and it is tricky but one of the things which I am aiming to do is to try to slot activities in as and when they occur. Unfortunately for the boys this generally means that me and Fifi get the odd girly shopping trip. She enjoys shopping, I must admit I do find it a bit mind-numbingly boring spending half and hour in Claires Accessories. She clearly enjoys the chance to tell me all about her favourite soft toys and what she is doing at school and this is where the real joy comes.
For me, its quite hard to find opportunities to do things individually with the boys. Little Ned often has time to spend alone with me in the afternoons but he is tired and often cant manage to do a lot apart from watch tv and chill out. He simply isn’t all that interested in talking to me or doing very much at all. I’m trying to focus on things that he likes doing with me, that don’t involve leaving me to do them- soft play is not a good option for us if we want to spend time together. Suggestions welcomed.
With the eldest things have got desperate, he clearly wants to spend time with me and will use any means to do so. We’re currently sitting together and watching Mr Selfridge (very carefully edited) and talking about the costume, the first World War and anything and everything which crops up. I must admit, I’m really enjoying this time but I would prefer it if we could do this before bedtime. He needs a lot of support and I wonder if he would benefit from a weekend break away with either myself or his dad. Trouble is, when you have three children despite different needs you need to treat them all equally or it makes for a very difficult situation.
So, this brings a dilemma. What does one do? How do you spend time alone with each child when you have three with different needs to cater for? How to you prevent it appearing to the other children as favouritism when really you are simply doing your best for each child? I do hope they understand when they are older.
I’d appreciate any suggestions for things to do with each child- i’m looking for things which don’t cost a fortune but provide some great bonding opportunities.