One on One with Children Tradition

Starting at age 5

When my son turned five it occurred to me that there may come a day where he is less keen to spend time with me. With that in mind I thought of starting a tradition where one day a year, I spend a full day with him and just him. My second child turned five last year and so I started with her also, so now each year I have one one-on-one day with my first child and one one-on-one day with my second child. Three years from now the third will be added.

Age five was a good age to start as the kids have a better amount of stamina for a longer walk, they have a better attention span for watching a movie, and they are a lot more reasonably communicative.

Example One of one-on-one

The summer my son was five years old we took the train into the city, walked up Peel street which leads to a path that goes up the mountain and then we stopped at the lookout. Following that we went to get ice cream at the chalet at the top of the mountain. We then came back down and ate at a restaurant, and finally went to see a movie.

200+ Steps up the mountain
200+ Steps up the mountain

He really liked the walking up the hill and wanted to do it again. There is a spot where there is a staircase that has over 200 steps that is fun to climb, and at that age, was great for him to learn about counting.

Chalet du Mont Royal
Chalet du Mont Royal

Example Two of one-on-one

I don't remember what I did with my son at ages 6 or 7 but last year we went to Arbraska in Rigaud and spent a few hours there, followed by lunch at Mon Village. This was a more expensive day as compared to the previous one, but was tons of fun. Age eight to eleven is a great age for this kind of activity. Arbraska has tree-climbing and zip-lining which is exactly the kind of thing we both like doing.

Example Three of one-on-one

When my second child turned five I took her again by train into the city, but this time instead of walking up the mountain, we walked the longest stretch I could conceive of through the Montreal Underground. We did some window shopping, stopped at a few different points to get a snack or a drink. Then we went to lunch and then went to see a movie. Kind of the same thing as I did with my son but a little less tiring. To get home we also took the train.

Montreal Underground
Montreal Underground

Example Four of one-on-one

My plan this year for my son is to go to the Labyrinth, and for my daughter, to do the mountain walk as described in Example One above. For both kids we'll take the train into town, walk to the destination, eat out at lunch, possibly see a movie and then return home again.

The Labyrinth is a human sized maze, one that I played in when I was a teenager and one that I am sure my son and I will have tons of fun in this summer.

Conclusion

If you have young kids like I do, or if they are a little bit older but are still keen to spend time with their parents, why not start a one-on-one annual tradition like this so that when they get older, you'll be able to still at least have one solid day of connection with them?

More by this Author


Comments 30 comments

jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 5 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

What a fantastic day, and something I am definitely going to do. We have a lot of family days out, but not a lot of just one on one time. Great ideas. Voted up and awesome. I'm planning to take my daughter a cycle in the countryside, stop for lunch and on the way home make a stop for some ice cream.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Jacqui, great idea - ice cream is a kid's favourite, for sure. Thanks for the votes!


applecsmith profile image

applecsmith 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This is great advice for any parent! My dad did this with myself and my siblings when we were young (and still does to this day when we can). It makes the child feel very important, and to have quality time with a parent, alone, is priceless.

My dad used to take us shopping on those days also, and let us buy any type of clothing we wanted. Being that it was modest, and age appropriate. But it could be any style or color, or fad. Enter my goth/punk phase. In any case it's a great way to help kids learn their own freedom of expression.

Thanks for sharing - voted up as usual!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks Apple, shopping hadn't occurred to me, mostly because I am not a shopper. When the girls get older, however, maybe it is something I will consider.


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 5 years ago from New England

Great idea with gorgeous pictures that inspire! Do you know when the pictured "Labyrinthe" opened? I was in Montreal in the early 1990s one weekend. Would love to return, and to make sure I see out a labyrinth to walk with my family.

If you are interested, I wrote a hub about labyrinths:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Labyrinths-The-Journey-to-...

Namaste :0)

Karen


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

I don't know when it opened. When I was a teenager it was called SOS Labyrinthe and it was on a different pier from where it is now.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Why not two days per year? Or what about three? Lol! These kinds of interactions between parent and child bear the sweetest fruit. I think you are a great parent.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks MC, I try to do my best as a parent. Why not more than one - it because I have only a limited number of vacation days from work and the vacation days I do have are usually spent with the whole family together.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

I really think this is a great idea. Sometimes, with multiple kids in the family, the littlest seems to get the most attention. It's really nice to do something with one kid by hin/herself. That makes the kid feel so very special, as he/she is.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks, paradise. I am a middle child and did have moments through my childhood where my two siblings got more attention than I did. With this plan each child gets equal attention.


LadyFae profile image

LadyFae 5 years ago from Under the Stars

Wow, what a great father you are!!! Awesome and a vote up.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

LF, thanks so much, I just try to do my best with the kids and usually it turns out okay.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

Phil,

I LOVE this idea! It really is a great way to build those bonds that will be needed throughout the upcoming teen years!! My "children" are all young adults, but I may just see what I can do to adapt it to fit! Thanks for a great idea! I voted up, useful and awesome! By the way I really liked your examples. Good way to get people thinking about possibilities.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks prek, as they get older it may become trickier to find things to do as the children's interests change, but there should still be something to be found that can be done. I'll tackle this subject myself with a hub once my kids are teenagers, presuming I am still hubbing at that time.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Super idea, and your sample days sound like such fun. Congrats to you and your kiddos!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Sally, thanks. I'm looking forward to this summer's - should be the last full week of August.


fashion 5 years ago

Super hub.This is great advice for parents!Thanks for helping parents.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks, fashion, much appreciated.


Stephen Kalu profile image

Stephen Kalu 5 years ago from Nigeria

I was about writing hub on this topic before i came across it now. That's a good job well done.


miccimom profile image

miccimom 5 years ago from U.S.A

I love the one-on-one idea. I also try to do something special with my kids. One year my daughter and I went on a cruise in NYC, she saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time, and she was thrilled. Good Hub! Thanks for the tips!


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Stephen, thanks - I'm glad I wrote it, but even more glad I am doing it.

MM, I'm not up yet for something so extravagant, but perhaps once the kids are older I'll consider it.


.josh. profile image

.josh. 5 years ago

This is a fantastic hub, and one that all parents would benefit from reading. As an elementary school teacher, I can attest to how excited kids get for 'one-on-one' time with their parents, likely hearing about it in the week prior, and reading about it in the week (or weeks) following.

Good for you for doing this, Phil. Awesome and voted up.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

josh, thanks for the votes. Maybe as an elementary school teacher you can share this idea with the parents you meet as a tremendous benefit to the future relationship the parents have with their kids.


Jennuhlee profile image

Jennuhlee 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

Awe how very sweet:] I love to read things like this, I am very close with my dad and always have been, and I believe it's because of all the one on on one time we spent together when I was a kid:]


hungrymouse profile image

hungrymouse 5 years ago from North America

That's how to be a parent. Useful (up) and thanks for the wisdom.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Jenn, I hope my two daughters stay close to me as you have with your dad, thanks for stopping by.

Mouse, thanks for the votes.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

This is such a good idea! Fabulous Hub.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Thanks Simone.


daskittlez69 profile image

daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

That is a great ides Phil, hopefully you will continue that with your children throughout life.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec Author

Interesting, I hadn't thought about doing it when my kids had their own kids, but why not? Time will tell, thanks for visiting Das.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working