Wednesday, October 28, 2015

1:1 Time with Dad

Time with Dad, 1:1 time with Dad, Blended family, stepmom, step mother, blended families
One of the best things you could ever do as a Stepmom is to make sure your husband gets 1:1 time with his children. The reason being it is important that your husband gets that quality time with his children.  It’s also really important to tell the stepchildren verbally that “I will never get in the way of your 1:1 time with your Dad and I think it’s very important that you get time with just your Dad”. That way they know that you are okay with it and that you are not taking them away from their Dad.  That is one thing I have never said verbally to my stepchildren is how I have always encouraged their Dad to spend time with them 1:1.  I have regretted not saying that to them verbally because the ex-wife has put it in their minds that I have taken their Dad away from them and now they believe it.
The reason why they need that time with him is because providing that exclusive time with him makes your time with the children feels less intrusive.  It provides a sense of stability when they are feeling like they lost their own family. Then when it comes to sharing their Dad with you, they feel less anxious about it and it makes them look at you in a better light.

At the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I would make sure that at least once or twice a month; my husband was spending 1:1 time with his children.  I would suggest places or things for him to do with them because at first he didn’t know where to go or what to do with them.  But, then after a few years I got somewhat relaxed about it and assumed they didn’t need that much time with him, and then I forgot to encourage it.  To my stepchildren and the ex-wife, it made it look like I was stopping him from spending time with his kids when that wasn’t the case at all.  I was just making sure we were always doing fun family things together as a family.  I guess as my stepchildren got older, I just thought they were comfortable with spending time together as a family, I did not know they still desired the 1:1 time with just him.  But it was still there and now they blame me saying that I didn’t allow their Dad to spend time with just them when that wasn’t the case at all.  I never once told my husband he couldn’t spend time with just his kids.  And there were times when my husband would do something with just his son and I would do something with all of the girls. But I wasn’t aware that they still needed that time with just the three of them. There were times that he did do things with just them, but there were not enough of them as they used to be in the beginning.  I do feel bad about it, but there’s nothing I can do about it now.  For this past year and a half, he has been getting 1:1 times with his kids without me around. I am very happy he is spending that quality time with his kids and has always encouraged it.
When I was a child, the only time I got with my Father without my stepmom around was when we went sailing on the sailboat because my stepmom hated sailing and she always got sea-sick so she stopped going after a while.  Back then I really didn’t care that much for sailing, but what I enjoyed from it was that it was time with my Dad without my stepmom around.  There was one weekend where I, my Dad and my brother spent the night on the sailboat; it was really wonderful to have all of that time with just my Dad without my stepmom around. I too felt like my stepmom never allowed us to have time with our Dad without her around. So I can relate to my stepchildren for wanting that time with their Dad.

I just don’t want to see any other blended family go through this where the stepchildren start to think that the stepmom is getting in the way of their 1:1 time with their Dad. This time with their Dad doesn’t have to be an all-day thing either; it could just be a couple of hours.  Remember it is all about quality time not the quantity time with their Dad. Just as long as he is spending quality time with them without you around is the best thing you can do for his relationship with them and to also have a better relationship with your stepchildren.  He doesn’t even have to always make it be about spending money on them; he could just play a board game with them, take them to the park, or go for a bike ride.
While your husband is away with his children use this time to spend with your children 1:1, that way they to have a positive relationship with their Stepdad. Or use this free time to spend time with friends and do something for yourself. If you haven’t been encouraging your husband to have time with his kids, it’s never too late and it doesn’t matter how old they, they still desire that time with just him.
Does your husband get quality time with his kids without you around? 

10 comments:

  1. SO important that children spend one-on-one time with each parent

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  2. It;s important for kids to get alone time with each of their parents! I love this - thank you for the reminder.

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  3. Blended families are becoming more common now and it's so important that all kids spend time with their parents :)

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  4. I so agree! Divorced or not, I think one-on-one time is so important!

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  5. Smart points! I agree it's important to share one on one time all the way every year with each of your children.

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  6. I agree, they need the 1:1 with their dad. It sounds like you are making some really good choices :)

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  7. I think you've done your part in terms of encouraging your husband to spend time with his kids. It's really important, because it's time spent with parents that the kids remember most about their childhood. You don't have to feel bad and you don't have to explain yourself, you're doing right by them as it is.

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  8. Great post! Children do need one on one with their parents.

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  9. I'm very blessed to have a husband who is also a great dad. He spends one-on-one time with them and is just as involved in their lives as I am. It's so important!

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  10. Very awesome that you are putting the kids first. Too many adults nowadays don't do that and the children suffer for it. Great post!

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