Date Days Foster Connection with Kids and Teens

Do you want to have GREAT relationships?  I think we all do, it is a basic human need to feel connected to others.  There are many ways in which we strengthen our connections.  Communication, understanding each other’s love language, and spending quality time together all strengthen relationships.

Date days (or nights) are also great way to strengthen your connection.   We often think of going on dates as something we do with a love interest before we are committed in a relationship.  Dating helps form the connection and positive emotions that carry us to commitment. There are also people who continue to“date” their spouse, which is awesome for their relationship.  In this post I want to you think about going on dates with your kids?   dad_son_playing

The relationship you have with your kids is one of the most important connections you can foster as a parent.  I am not talking about being their friend or buddy.  I am talking about having a connected positive parent child relationship.  Taking the time to go on dates with your child or teen is one of the great (and fun) ways to foster this connection.  You can take turns choosing what to do on your date.  The dates don’t have to cost a lot of money (in fact there are many things you can do for free).  The idea is to schedule a time to spend without distractions with your child doing something fun together.

In our house we go on dates with our kids about once a month.  These are often the times that my son or daughter will open up about their lives in more detail with me.  We joke around and laugh together and have a great time.  Dates we enjoy include:  hiking, biking, walking around the mall, a game day, cooking together, in home spa day (where we create our own facials, etc), you get the idea.  Any activity you enjoy that fosters connection is perfect.

Did you notice I didn’t put going to the movies on my list?  It is not that you can’t go to the movie.  I have noticed there isn’t as much opportunity to talk and connect in a movie theater.  What I notice is that after a date day, my children feel more connected. They follow directions easier and enjoy helping around the house more.  Knowing that I took time out of my life to spend alone time with either of them makes a huge difference in the quality of our family life.

Although many people don’t realize it, creating date time with your teen is just as important as creating date time with your younger child.  Teens also need to feel connected to their parent.  If you have a teen it would be wise to meet your child where he or she is at.  Pay attention to what interests him or her.  Try to learn about it and they suggest a date based on that interest.  Enjoy your date day!

Written By Dr. Steffanie Stecker


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