Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother Son Time

Today I am joining in for "Mama's Tell All" with That Southern Mama. The topic is

Dating My Daughter/Son. 

I always thought the idea of going on dates with your kids was weird, but then several years ago I was talking with a teen girl that babysat for us, and she explained how special the dates with her dad were. She said he likes to demonstrate how she should be treated by a man (i.e. respect, dignity, kindness, manners, etc.). I really liked that idea. So call it whatever you want, but I believe special one on one time with our children is critical.

Keep in mind this does not have to be anything extravagant. We are in a difficult place right now with J being in school full time and tight budget doesn't even begin to cover it. Even then I have managed to go out with Z a couple times a year and I can't say enough about what it has meant to both of us!

We didn't start this tradition until 2 years ago when he was in Kindergarten. Our first date was the Chic-Fil-A mother son date knight and I highly recommend registering for one of these events if you can find one in your area.

I have more information about that HERE.

Then last year we went to the Mother Son Game Night at Z's school, and it was an evening I will never ever forget.

We both dressed up in Western wear

and we played and competed as a team all night long.

It was so special!

This year we participated in another Mother Son Date Knight at a different Chic-Fil-A and there were so many fun activities and freebies including the opportunity to take an oath of honor and be knighted by the royal cow.

 Z voluntarily wanted to wear his bow tie and blazer that night. He was the best dressed kid there and several people dining or serving were sure to let him know about it.

Then back to the school for our next mother son time which was the Mother's Day Tea that I attended last Friday.

Can you tell we have a thing for matching? I do realize he will grow out of this, but for now I'll take it! Z served me my refreshments and as we chatted he gave me some crafts that he made and a book he wrote for me which was especially sweet!

Here is what I have learned so far with the few dates that I have gone on with my son.

1. Of course you can come up with something personal for your night out, but in our case it has worked out to do events that are already planned and prepared. All we had to do was show up.

2. We are big Dave Ramsey Jr. people and so these outings are a great opportunity for kids to learn how to be generous and responsible with their money.

The Chic-Fil-A meals were all paid for with money that Z earned himself. Although, (just to keep it real) last time we went out I owed him some cash for the past 2 weeks. So I let him buy our meal with my debit card, but we had a big conversation about why a debit card is different than a credit card and that money would come straight out of his chore money. It worried me just how much he loved handling the Visa.

3. Of course you can start date nights at any age! For me it has just happened to work out to start scheduling dates very intentionally at school age. As a stay at home mom, this worked out perfect because until Z was in school I was with him all the time and got to do special activities on a more regular basis anyway.

4. Lastly, I have learned that these times of connection where you have the opportunity to really focus your undivided attention on your child as an individual is priceless! I can't wait for the next mother son date with Z.

The [New] Messy Mom Launch Party is still in full swing. Check out the links below to catch up on all that is happening!


Anonymous said...

Aww, it looks like you and your son have some awesome date nights together! Thanks so much for linking up to Mamas Tell All.

blestbutstrest said...

Both my husband and I started doing 'date extravaganzas' with our girls when they were in middle school. These usually involved a weekend getaway that the girls planned. Needless to say, they were a blast. As they got busier in high school, we had to scale it back to just spending an hour or two with them. I still do 'Coffee Fridays' with my oldest whenever we're in town together (doesn't matter what day of the week it might be--it's still 'Coffee Friday'), and my youngest and I like to go on hiking and dessert dates. This one on one time has been invaluable for getting to really know my girls and providing a safe harbor for them as they negotiate the rough waters of adolescence and adulthood.

Susan Shipe said...

We didn't call them "date nights" but I was always big on one-on-one time with my three kids as they grew up. Now that they are adults? I enjoy their company even more!

Ashley Lee said...

What awesome dates! Thanks for linking up!

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

You so many fun things with him Natalie, it's wonderful! He will never forget the special time you have together :) Memories are made from these days!

Michelle said...

When our girls were little and we did date nights (see my post on link up) some never cost anything. One income made it hard too at times back then. Sometimes it was a long bike ride, a picnic lunch, a trip to the park or roller skating. The point was to do something they enjoyed and just do it. Glad to see the fun pictures of your time together. Keep it up. You will benefit tremondously.

Tara Ulrich said...

I agree. I think it is so important to have one on one time. Loved this post! You've done so many fun things together. I hope you get to keep this up for a long time!

Karrilee Aggett said...

Oh sweet! I love this! I miss those special times... you and he both will look back on them fondly! And what a hands on way to show him how to treat a date!

{amy} said...

It has been awhile since we've had "official" dates, but I do take advantage of the moments when I'm one-on-one with either child. We'll go for coffee or dessert or something! :)