The Importance of One-on-One Time with Your Kids


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Make your kids feel valued and loved by spending one-on-one time with them. Here are some ideas to get you started.

As a young adult, some of my favorite memories were when I had one-on-one time with my parents. Even now when I go home, I cherish the time when my mom and I run to the gas station to get drinks. The moments you spend with your kids will impact them in many positive ways. Here are six ideas of ways to spend quality time with your kids.


  1. Take them on a date. The first Christmas after I had moved away from home, my Christmas present from my dad was a date with him before I went back to the craziness of school. We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant then bowling. It was a good time for us to talk about how school was going, my plans for the future, etc.  


  1. Take them to run an errand with you. This can be as simple as going to the gas station to fill the tank. This gives you an opportunity to talk in the car. This can also be a teaching opportunity. For example, teach them how to pump the gas.


  1. Go on a trip with them. My parents took us each on a week-long graduation trip. They would  plan activities that were of particular interest to us. Since I love the theatre, my parents took me to see Fiddler on the Roof. It was a great experience to watch a show I have always loved the music to, but had never seen.


  1. Plan a family vacation. Though it’s a family trip, you can still make one-on-one time with each child. My mom and I are not big hikers while my dad and sisters are. So while they would hike, my mom and I would play card games together. Another example is going on a walk with one child before everyone else gets up.


  1. Birth day date. This idea is taken from the blog Your Modern Family. Each month, on the day the child was born, he or she gets to stay up an extra 20-30 minutes and chooses a special activity. For example, if your child was born on May 15, then on the 15th of every month it is his or her night to stay up. These activities are best when electronic free and can include such things as going for a walk, baking easy cookies, playing a board game, etc.


  1. Surprise your kids. Whether it is bringing lunch to school or getting ice cream together, there are many ways to spend one-on-one time with kids. This helps them know you love them, are a support system for them and that they can talk to you about anything. When they are younger, make an effort to spend one-on-one time with each of them. It can be tucking them into bed, after school homework time, etc. Put the phone away and focus on them. Your undivided attention will make them truly feel loved and appreciated.

This article was written by Kayla Orton, Utah State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Intern, Salt Lake County

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