- Family and Parenting
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?