I have three high-energy, very INTENSE children (plus a baby sister that seems to be following suit). This generates a lot of fun, exhaustion and creativity at our house. I’ve found myself investing more in parenting resources than I ever expected, prior to having kids. One of my favorite parenting products I’ve purchased is the “Positive Parenting Solutions” premium package by Amy McCready. (Oh la la…) And McCready’s principle of “Special Time” has changed my parenting game for the better!
So, what IS One-on-One “Special Time”?
“Special time” is an effective parenting tool by the acclaimed Amy McCready’s, “Positive Parenting Solutions” online course.
One of McCready’s main tools is called: Mind-Body-and-Soul time, or “Special Time” as we call it at our house. It’s ten minutes of one-on-one time with your child doing something he or she wants to do. The key is to be fully present and show them that they matter. McCready advises doing this with each of your children, daily– which, I think, is a challenge! However…
When our kids have their “attention bucket” full, they tend to whine, fight-back, and misbehave LESS! Instead, they have a sense of power and fulfillment. It’s all based on Adlerian Psychology, and it makes sense, right? I figure it’s worth doing! So I tried it. I liked it!
Amy McCready’s recommends doing special time: ten minutes, per kid, per day. I found that I needed some strategies to make the special time a success. Otherwise, I was putting off Special Time and it just didn’t happen all together.
Four Main Tactics to Help You Start:
- Set an Alarm. I decided to do one kid each day at the same time each day. I figured out a time that works well with naps, school, etc. Then I set an alarm to remind me to put the baby down for a nap and then start “special time”. I do each kid during the day and then stories and pillow talk at night.
- Predetermine what the other kids (not in special time) will do. Ideally, the other sibling might be at school, practice, or nap time. But if not, here’s what I use for some ideas: play on the tablet, color, quiet time activities, play in the backyard, family jobs, or read a book in their room.
- Guilt-free mind-frame. This special ten minutes with your child is all about them! You are catering to the Child Ego-State, they decide on the activity and you as the parent get to play along. As a parent, you might feel frustrated that you’re wasting your time. But remember, this time is all about enjoying the time with your child. These few minutes of the day are where you’re totally off the hook from getting anything done- just relax and be a kid!
- Have a list of activities or ideas written down. Call it exhaustion or mom brain, but sometimes I can’t remember what we had planned for “Special time”. So I keep a list of ideas on our family board. Or, if you are out of ideas- check out this printable to get those wheels turning. Just remember- this is a child-led activity, so let them pick!
The “Perfect Printable”:
If you’d like a printable copy of our one-on-one time activity idea generator, please subscribe and we’ll email it over! We really hope it ends up being a big success for you, like it has for me and Tiffaynee. So, we ALSO made a printable that has our top ten tips that have been key for us to make it a success!
One of the tips for one-on-one special time: write your fun times together on a chalk-board. This does 3 things: 1) Reminds you, and helps you stay motivated to fill it up with fun experiences together, 2) Helps you focus on the positive interaction with your kids, and 3) Acts as a journal to save the memories if you take a picture of it when it gets full!
I have seen that when I give my kids my time and attention in positive ways, it is an investment and we do have less need for the power-struggles. I’d rather spend the ten minutes in a proactive, pleasant interaction with my little girl, than a ten-minute talk-her-down-from-a-tantrum session. There have been several times over the years where we’re having a hard day with kids being out-of-control, and I can usually pinpoint that I haven’t really given that child the attention in a way that they feel valued and appreciated. So- be sure to check out the printables to help you make it a success for both you and your child. I now think it’s a total must!
Amy McCready’s full system incorporates several other tools and so sometimes I need to remind myself that there’s more to this “parenting thing” than just giving my kids one-on-one attention! I have loved being a premium member of PPS- it’s totally changed my mom experience for the way-better! If you ever want to make sure you’re being the best parent you can be, I would definitely recommend checking out this free webinar– she shares some great info and ideas that are so helpful!
Early on, I noticed that one-on-one special time helps me to handle the hard moments with confidence and security. I feel connected to my child, and that’s so important! With “special time”, I feel like I have an enhanced sense to know what they need from me; and the bonding time carries me through the “you’re-drivin’-me-crazy” times!
Do you do one-on-one time with your kids? Ever tried Amy McCready’s system before? What do you think about it?