Date Night + One

photo (2)With the advent of this big girl getting more and more aware of social things, time, and the people around her, Beard and I have started a family tradition we like to call “Date Night +1”.

My husband and I are completely spoiled when it comes to date nights.  Each week my sister-in-law watches our girls one night a week, and we watch her son one night a week so she and her hubby can go out.  We don’t have to pay for childcare, our girls are with people we absolutely trust, and they love to spend time with their aunt, uncle, and cousin.

Like I said:  completely spoiled.

Since we have the luxury of weekly date nights, we take Madeline along on one date night everyone once in a while (about once every couple of months).  We treat her to dinner out, usually at a restaurant that serves free kids’ meals, then we take her somewhere she would love.

Madeline’s first “date night +1” was dinner at Applebees and a showing of Despicable Me 2, and the above picture was a few weeks ago when we took her to Barnes and Noble to play and read in the childrens’ book section.

Why do we take our two year old out on dates with us?

It’s certainly not to save money on childcare, because that is free.

It’s because my husband and I value getting to know and spending time with our daughters individually.  As Clara gets older, she’ll be coming on “date nights +1” with us as well.  We have noticed how much Madeline loves getting individual attention from the both of us for one evening.  We are able to treat her, spoil her a bit, and get to focus and learn about her for an evening.

Although my husband and I are both big believers in teaching our children early that they are not the center of our universe, we do believe in encouraging and fostering their individuality.  By allowing our children to be themselves, and by getting to know their little selves as they develop, we feel we can not only help to build their confidence in their relationship with us, but also to help us be able to guide them toward their own strengths.

It may be a bit of a sacrifice to miss out on a true date night once every few months, but “date night +1”  is a sacrifice we both feel is really worth making.

How do you give your children individual time?

 

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