8 Easy Ways to Make Your Kids Feel Special Every Day – Even When You’re Busy

8 Easy Ways to Make Your Kids Feel Special Every Day – Even When You’re Busy

8 Easy Ways to Make Your Kids Feel Special Every Day – Even When You’re Busy

“You’re not the best Mommy anymore!” my son yelled at me in the parking lot as loud as he possibly could.


I looked around to see several people watching me. I could feel my anger slowly creeping up the back of my neck. I steadied myself and kept pushing the cart to the car.


“Well at least he thought I was the best Mommy at one point,” I thought sarcastically and trying to hold onto any shred of patience I could muster.


“I’m not going to eat your lunch either! I only want pancakes and if you don’t make them, I’m not eating ever again!”


I stopped the cart and opened the door for him to get in the car, loaded our bags, put the cart away, took a deep breath and silently got into the car.


“I love you very much and it hurts my feelings when you say mean things to me like that.”


That was all I said and our ride home was silent.


I looked in the rearview mirror to gauge his reaction. His face looked sad and I briefly forgot the anger that had risen inside of me at another one of his public outbursts.


It took every ounce of patience I had to remain calm and not snap at him for throwing another fit. That morning had been great.


We had taken him to his soccer game, played at the park afterward, biked around the neighborhood and then after quick errands to Target, we had to get home for his sister’s nap. When he found out that we weren’t making a stop to wander the toy aisles, nothing could talk him down from the storm that was brewing inside.


Why didn’t he see that we were trying

hard to have fun together as a family that morning,

but instead he focused on the one thing

that didn’t go his way?



My husband and I had been trying different ways to parent our son who had been acting out more than typical in the last several months. Throwing his toys, having big emotions and outbursts, putting his hands on other people, and saying hurtful things to me, his Dad and especially his twin sister.


My resolve to remain patient was worn microscopically thin these days.


How we were parenting obviously wasn’t meeting his needs so we read books and gave better-constructed choices, we tried to be more flexible and empathetic but his behavior still didn’t change.


What were we doing wrong? What else could we try?


Turns out, once he finally stopped acting with his feelings and told us what what going on, the reason why he was acting out should have been one of the first things we considered.


He was picking battles over the smallest of things and the littlest of requests because he was acting out for attention. The only boy of three kids and living in the house of “she,” he was desperately seeking attention – of any kind – from his Mom and his Dad.


Simply put, he wasn’t getting the one-on-one time he needed to connect with his parents.



We have three children who are together most days except for a few hours several times a week. Having alone time with each of them is challenging. But it’s also absolutely necessary if you want to strengthen the parent-child relationship, build your child’s confidence, and it will create a positive home life.


It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday of raising children, being adults and all the responsibilities we carry. Meal making, shopping, taking your kids to school, on play dates, to activities and soccer practice, and everything else in between makes for long days filled with the “to-do” items and not always with moments of connection our children – and parents – need.


Often times it’s our kids that take a back seat to the everyday responsibilities but this is where we need to remember that the days are long and the years are short. We need to make meaningful connections with our kids each and every day.


This season of parenting children will be over in the blink of an eye, I remind myself.


Yes, we still need to handle our parental responsibilities, but we can still make opportunities for connection with our kids with simple shifts of thinking and planning ahead. Quality time doesn’t need to involve babysitters or intricately planned outings; instead, spend time with each of your kids within your daily routines you already have in place.


Look for opportunities to talk and be together even if it’s just to the hardware or grocery store.


Here are the (8) most frequent ways my husband and I make one-on-one time to connect with each of our kids.

8 Ways to Find One-on-One Time With Each of Your Kids, Every Single day



Take one child with you when you run to the grocery store, the post office or to do an errand.


During the day this can be more difficult because my husband is at work and I have all three kids on my own, so sometimes I save errands for the evenings when he’s home just to get the opportunity for 1:1 time. When my partner is at home, I’ll leave two of the kids at home with him and take one (or vice versa) to run an errand or to pick up dinner, etc.


The time in the car and at the store is nice to talk without interruption and I can include him in the shopping trip by asking for his/her opinion and help, which also makes him feel important.



We have a set bedtime routine in place at our home, which means that I get time with each kid before bedtime, as does my husband.


Our one-year-old goes to bed one hour before the older kids so she and I read books and cuddle before her bedtime and my husband spends time with the older kids during this time. When it’s time for the twins to get ready, we are of the “divide and conquer” method.


We each take a kid, get them in their pajamas, brush teeth, go potty and then read a book with them in their own rooms. We’ll tuck them into bed and have our own bedtime sayings that are special between each parent and child (one of our traditions we established when they were very young.) After our “kid for the night” is in bed, we switch rooms and go spend a couple minutes with the other child. Each night we switch kids so that we alternate spending one-on-one time together reading and getting ready for bed.


If my husband is working and I have all three kids at night by myself, I will put the baby to bed first while the other two play together and then I’ll get the other two ready for bed at the same time, we’ll read a book together and I still spend several minutes with each one separately in their own rooms talking about the day and making them feel special before they drift off to sleep.



While nighttime family walks are a big thing in our house because they’re a great way to wind down and keep the TV off, it’s also a great opportunity to get some quality time with just one of the kids. Once in a while, if we notice signs that one of the kids needs some time away from the other ones, or has been acting out for attention in the wrong ways, we’ll grab the dogs and head out of the house while the other parent has time with the other kids.



Now that the kids are five and can help more in the kitchen, they often ask if they can contribute and so we’ve learned to use this special time to make a meal together.


I can use an extra hand stirring, mixing and setting the table while the other two play kids play together. What’s great is that we’ve found that having three kids, sometimes the other two kids want their own special “brother and sister time” or “sister-time” together so this is a perfect solution to make sure no one is feeling left out while they play.



After dinner is over, it’s not uncommon in our home that each parent takes one or two kids (while the other one or two is with the other parent) and spend time together in one part of the house, away from the other. Reading together, watching a show, playing a game or putting together puzzles on the floor for an hour before bed gives us ample quality one-on-one time.


Here are suggestions for screen-free activities alternatives for your kids before bedtime that don’t involve the TV or tablets.



When the kids have activities out of the house – such as soccer, gymnastics, or an art class – we’ll drive two cars so that the kids can have time in the car alone with a parent on the way to and from the activity. Sometimes, my husband will meet us at the activity if it’s on his way home from work and then he’ll take my son or daughter home in his car so he can squeeze in quality one-on-one time with them too.



If you have children that are different ages and in various states of nap and no-napping, this can be a great opportunity to sneak in some special time together.


For example, when our baby is napping, the other two kids have an hour of quiet time in their own rooms when they aren’t in school or on the weekends. I will make the effort to spend 10-20 minutes in each of their rooms to play with them separately on the floor. The are so excited that I’m not working on my computer and took the time to pop in their rooms to play with them for a little bit.


I completely understand that quiet time at your house can be reserved for your own “Mom or Dad Time” but if you spend 10 or 20 minutes with each child while your littlest is napping, you can still leave time for yourself.



We have several annual weekend getaways and trips that we take and we put away our electronics, to do lists and aren’t mindful of our work responsibilities and can focus on our family.  With the extra time on trips to relax and have actual “downtime,” this leaves plenty of opportunities to spend time together one-on-one with each of your children.

Here are 9 Traditions You Can Start With Your Family Today


How else do you find one-on-one time with each of your children? I’d love more suggestions!

8 Not-So-Great Parenting Habits To Break


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I’m Corinne, a Mom to three active little kids, including twins. I love coffee at any time of the day, believe afternoon naps are essential, am working hard at creating a meditation practice and filing our family life with experiences, not things.