Ep 176. Cultivating Respect From Your Kids Through Special Time

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Did you know that just 10 minutes of intentional one-on-one time with each child everyday can significantly boost their sense of belonging and respect towards you?

In episode 176, I’m excited to dive into the concept of ‘Special Time’—a dedicated, daily part of your day to connect deeply with each of your children.

This practice isn’t just about spending time together; it’s about fostering a meaningful relationship that cultivates respect and compliance.

I’ll share some practical guidelines and ideas to make Special Time effective and enjoyable, addressing common challenges and questions to ensure a smooth integration into your daily routine.

From choosing activities, to managing sibling dynamics, and making this practice a consistent habit, I’m excited to guide you through enhancing your family’s connection.

This will help you transform your parenting journey by building a foundation of mutual respect and deepening the bond with your kids.

What is Special Time and Why Is It Important?

Special Time is daily, intentional 1:1 time spent with each child.

Special Time cultivates belonging + significance. 

What You’ll Notice After Implementing Special Time

  1. Your kids will start asking for it
  2. They might even fight over it 
  3. Your kids will start treating you differently 
  4. They will be more compliant 

Special Time Guidelines and Ideas

1. No Screen Time 

Try to make whatever your quiet time activity is together something without screens.

We’re trying to cultivate intentionality. And we’re trying to cultivate conversation. And that really can’t happen over screen time. So I always say a special time includes no screens.

2. Your Child Chooses

This means your child gets to choose what activity you participate in together as long as it’s safe and within reason.

Even if they pick something you don’t necessarily like, eventually your heart will begin to soften towards your child when you start to engage in things that they care about.

3. Special Time Should Be At Least 10 Minutes

Any less and it feels too fast anymore, and it could feel a little too long for you, depending on how many kids you have.

4. It Should Happen Everyday at Same Time (Habit Stack!)

This might feel totally unreasonable for you, and I hear you.

But hear me out:

The more that you can make this a habit and stack it on top of another habit, the more likely you are to actually do it and maintain it as a practice and habit.

5. Be Totally Present 

Try not to check your phone!

Put your phone completely away, maybe in another room so that your child knows that it’s your Special Time.

Then there’s no distraction, no interruptions, and no temptation for you to check your phone.

Ideas For Special Time

My son loves doing active, outdoor things.

My daughter enjoys more passive activities together.

Here are a few we enjoy doing:

  • Games (card/board)
  • Outside Activities (Backyard)
  • Reading
  • Handing clapping games 
  • Legos 
  • Drawing

Commonly Asked Questions:

1. How to handle who goes first:

  • For me, I go Youngest to oldest since my youngest has a harder time waiting patiently

2. What to do with other kids:

  • Oldest watches youngers 
  • Have special toys that you only pull out during special time

3. How to handle drama and meltdowns:

  • Grace
  • Love
  • Hugs
  • Reassurance 
  • Instill excitement for your next Special Time time together 
  • Remind them that ‘the longer it takes me to start, the longer it takes us to play.’

4. How to End Special Time:

It is helpful if you have your kiddo be the one set the timer.

Also let them know what’s coming next after the timer goes off, that way they know exactly what to expect.

How to Make this a New Habit:

My answer is always: habit stack this just like you would anything else.

  • Tell your kiddos about it 
  • Set an alarm 
  • Start bedtime earlier 
  • Include Dad 
  • Maybe try and squeeze in your Special Time with your early risers before school

But know this:

Consistency is key!

  • Try hard not to miss 2 days in a row of Special Time.
  • Also, talk it up and get your kids excited about it! It’s such a fun time that you want them to look forward to too.

Complimentary Episodes 

Ep 160. Enjoying Every Moment with Your Kids

Ep 85. Simple Ways to Connect with Your Kids

Ep 122. 8 Ways to Reset Bad Attitudes

Browse All Parenting Episodes


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My mission is to help fellow mom business owners experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for mompreneurs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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