When our oldest son, Jack, turned 5 we started a new tradition in our home to make each child feel special. Each month, on the calendar day of his Birthday (29th), we would let him stay up a little later than his siblings and have A Special Night, just with him.
(example: He was born on August 29th, so every month, on the 29th, we have his special night. September 29th, October 29th, November 29th…)
So why do we do this…?
We now have four young children: ages 8, 6, 4 and 2. It can be hard to ensure that we are making each child feel special. My wife and I had decided that we would use this Special Night as a way to ensure that each child knew how great they were. We would use this Special Night to show each child that we felt blessed to be their parents. We would use this Special Night to let each child know that they were loved, just for being themselves.
This is something that every parent can do with their child on a monthly basis. You can do it if you have one child or if you have several children. The best part is, you can do something together that can cost little to NO MONEY at all.
These special nights are something that each of our children really look forward to and so do I, as their Dad. It gives me that one on one time that I need with each one of them, too.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- That child gets to stay up 20-30 minutes later than his/her siblings.
- They get to pick what they want to do.
- We do not influence what they choose (we also don’t do anything that will last longer than 30 minutes, because they still need their rest.)
- We remember that this is their Special Night.
You can do just about anything, and do a combination of things. Here are some of the things that our kids choose on their special night:
- Go to the playground/park
- Go for a bike ride
- Play a board game with Mom and Dad
- Get an ICEE or ice cream cone at the market close to home.
- Cruise around town in ‘Dad’s mustang’
- Color or paint together
- Build a “home” for their super heroes
WHAT WE DO NOT DO:
Play Electronics. We try to stay away from electronics. We have taken electronics off the list, because we noticed that it takes away from a real connection with our children. It does not allow for open conversation with them.
We have noticed that on their special nights, our kids have a tendency to share a little more of what is going on in their lives, more than they normally would. You will notice that when they have your undivided attention, you will have theirs as well.
I would say the best part of each Special Night, is at the end of the night before we lay them down. My wife and I will bring them in on the couch and tell them two things that we LOVE about them. We will then pray over them.
We will take the time to thank God for everything He has done for them…Given them a kind heart… Helping them to be a good brother/sister… Letting them be just as wonderful as they are!
We love to do this because we love to watch our children, as they beam with pride hearing how much we love them. When you do this, watch your child’s emotions as you thank God for how special they are to you. They will even become a little embarrassed, but its because they are so proud… proud that someone notices that they are Special… one of a kind.
Each day… month…year is a reminder to thank God and to celebrate the life of your little blessing. So take the time today and celebrate A Special Night With Your Child.