Date days with the kids are a concept which I think most people are familiar with. It is the idea of one parent taking one of the children out for a “date” for some personal time with one particular parent. I have seen it modeled on the Duggar’s TV show and heard some of my friend’s talk about it. It is a goal which Carl and I have strived for, but never really seemed to be good at following through with it.
Having a daughter which we are all too aware is possibly going to be leaving the nest in the next 5 years, we felt it was time try to nail the jello to the wall so to speak. We decided to make a plan. Proverbs 13:16 says, “Every prudent man acts out of knowledge…” In our goal to be prudent, we set out to make a plan. We knew that if we didn’t make a plan and put it on the calendar, it would never happen.
We decided to do a date day with one child on the last Sunday of each month. We started out with our oldest, then our middle child would be the next month, and then our youngest. Every month we rotate the dating parent. So, an example is as follows:
January-Dad & oldest child
February-Mom & middle child
March-Dad & youngest child
April-Mom & oldest child
We thought this would be a good plan for us, because it would give each one of the kids 4 dates throughout the year. It would also give them 2 date days with Mom and 2 date days with Dad. It has been such a special time since we started, and I am trying not to kick myself for starting earlier.
The first time Lauren went on a date with her daddy, she was so excited. She talked about it for days that she was going on a date with her daddy. She announced it to people at the store we did not know (not unusual) and children at her school. She spent at least two days figuring out what she was going to wear on this date. She beamed when her Dad took her to see Mirror Mirror at the movie theatre and went to get ice cream.
It really struck me how much we were modeling for her how a man should treat her and spend time with her. What a fabulous lesson for her. It is a time that when the kids feel special and all of the attention is on them.
We have really tried to keep it simple. I took Madison out shopping one time. Nathan went to see the Avengers movie with Dad. Next time, Madison & I are going to go out, buy and drink some tea at this really neat tea place in town. We usually try to keep it under $20 or even less if we are creative. We don’t feel we need lots of money to spend quality time.
I think we need to model for these kids relationships and spend time with them nurturing those relationships. Time speeds by day after day, and this time in the life of our kids is speeding by as well. I look at my kids sometimes and can’t believe I am this old or have kids this old. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it.” I am going to miss a lot I know, but I would like to catch as much as I can while I can. Thanks to date days, we are doing a little better at it.
“Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”