Updated: Jun 24
Every parent of multiples can tell you all about the struggles of going from 1 kid to 2 (or more). For my daughter 4yo Makenzie, the struggle is extra real for wanting all the attention on her. I understand the importance of making your children feel special, despite no longer being the only child. So, my husband and I have tried to keep up with taking each of our kids on individual dates. It has been something as simple as going for ice cream or even checking out a local circus.
Recently, I decided to take the individual date idea to the next level and join my best friend and her daughter for a mother-daughter trip to Jacksonville, Florida. It was everything Makenzie and I needed!
Makenzie has been a mighty challenge lately. I think this quarantine has really had an impact on her (and me, if I’m being honest). She is used to us being out and about, seeing friends and exploring. However, since March, we haven’t done much of anything. I think her high emotions and straight up disrespectful behavior has been a manifestation of how she’s feeling about the drastic change in our daily life. And it has been wearing me all the way out!
So, a mother-daughter trip was so timely. We got to finally hang out with some friends and explore a new city. Two of the things we both love to do.
Some of the things we did during our trip include, spending an evening at Atlantic beach, touring Sweet Pete’s Candy Shop, seeing all the big cats at Catty Shack Ranch, and taking a water taxi ride to see dolphins. I know I won mom of the year for taking her to do all these things haha.
Here is why you should also take your kids on a one-on-one trip:
1. You will see a positively different side of your child. Makenzie was a pure angel on this trip. Her behavior was the best I had seen in a very long time. As we were exploring, we didn’t have much down time, so it’s like she was too busy being adventurous, she didn’t have time to act up. She was literally a sweet child for 3 days in a row. For me it was great to see the type of positive behavior she is capable of. This trip allowed me to see her in a completely different light. And there was no fighting with her brother, because she was the only child of mine on this trip!!!
2. You will bond with your child. While we are home, my time is split between work, my husband, both kids, house work, etc. On our trip, I didn’t have to worry about anything but my baby girl. Not once did I say, “After I work we can…” or “let me clean these dishes, then we can…”. My time was all hers. She was so happy with all the attention on her and it felt so refreshing to just focus on her during our trip. One of her love languages is quality time and that is exactly what we had. We were able to share many special moments with just us two and I know we both felt the love.
3. It will reset your tolerance meter. With spirited kids, it is so hard to handle their rambunctious personalities day after day. You need a break from the madness every now and then, with any kid This trip was just the break I needed. I needed a break from having to dish out consequences. Even though she was back to the nonsense, once we were home again with her brother, I wasn’t as immediately irritated, because I was still on a high from our amazing trip.
4. It will give you something to reference in times of misbehavior. Since I just witnessed stellar behavior from Makenzie, I am now able to use that as a reference now that we are back home. When she does something out of character, I am able remind her that she is capable of making better decisions that do not lead to consequences she doesn’t like. In moments of misbehavior Makenzie will sometimes whine about how she doesn’t know how to listen. I simply reply by reminding her that she had no problem listening on our trip. It is a reference that she can easily understand.
5. It can contribute to improving your overall health. Yep, taking a one-on-one trip with your kids has health benefits. Harvard Medical School conducted a study on the health benefits of strong relationships. They found that good connections can relieve harmful levels of stress and promote good health. Taking a one-on-one trip is like the ultimate way to connect with your child. It produces a euphoric feeling for both you and your child, ultimately strengthening your relationship and love for one another.
On your trip you may find even more benefits. The goal is to give your child uninterrupted time with just him or her, in a non-stressful environment. That non-stressful environment part is key. Going out of town and staying in a hotel takes away the responsibilities that often inhibit the time spent with our children. Even if you cannot get away for a full weekend, maybe try spending a full day out and about. You and your child deserve it! You child needs those special moments with just you!
If you have done this before, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below. If you have been thinking about taking a mother-daughter (or son) trip, make it a priority to get a date on the calendar!