Dating Your Kids 101

If you’re here to read about dating your spouse then you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m here to share all about dating your kids and some of the benefits from doing so. I shared a little on Instagram the other day about my date with my oldest, Presley (age 7). I received lots of questions about the details and I’m here to hit some of the highlights.

Why date your kids?We live in a world of pure chaos; always running from this practice to that one, this church event to that birthday party. We live in a time of go, go, go. How often does that hustle and bustle life include real quality time? I’d say rarely for most families. Kids need to know that they are special (and not special just because you pay for their activities and chauffeur them around). They need to know that they are valued as an individual (not that they are just one of the <insert your family name here> kids. They need to know how they should be treated and treat the other person when it comes time for them to date (Help me Lord!!). I don’t think it’s enough to just treat their mom or dad well in front of them. You need to show them, so that someday they won’t settle OR be the one that causes someone else to settle (too harsh?! Nah, just true).

How often do we date our kids?There is no magical number on this, or perfect day of the week. Our goal is to do this once a month, but reality might be a handful of times a year. You can even shoot for once a year with each kid. On holidays, we are now gifting our kids with date night coupons: good for one date night with mom – good for one date night with dad! They love these more than almost any other gift even asking to use them the same day they get them.

How do we decide who takes who?At this time, we only have two kids, so we just swap each time. I’ll go with Presley while Anthony goes with Sailor. Then the next time, I’ll take Sailor while Anthony takes Presley. If you have more than 2 kids then shoot for one parent taking one kid each month.

What do you do? Cost?Our rule of thumb: We do whatever the kids want to do. Last week, it meant Presley and I going to Fazoli’s (fast food Italian), Chuck E. Cheese, and Braum’s Ice Cream while Anthony and Sailor went to Chick-fil-A and Chuck E. Cheese (at a different time than us). on my date, we spent about $30 dollars and Anthony’s was about $20. Some dates may mean packing a picnic dinner and going to the park. One date, we may dress up and go to a nice dinner that costs a little more. Dating your kids DOES NOT have to be expensive. I’ve noticed how full of life and open my kids are when it’s just one on one time. If time is an issue, let one kid stay up later (push back that oh so important bedtime) than the others once a month for a board game with mom or a movie with dad or bake cookies with mom or do a sonic run with dad.

Rules:– no phone except for pictures – no complaining (never an issue)- HAVE FUN!THE MAIN GOAL IS TO CONNECT WITH EACH CHILD ON A DEEPER LEVEL! There are no perfect rules or ways to do these dates. It’s all about quality time where all focus is on that one individual.

I’m all about dating your spouse, but there is nothing more attractive to me than my husband loving on and playing with our kids! Mamas, can I get an ‘AMEN’?!

MORE DATE NIGHT IDEAS– mini golf- bowling- go to the movies- painting class- pottery class- laser tag (older kids)- early evening zoo trip- arcade- picnic & park- shopping spree (with a set budget)- ballgame – fishing- board games on the back patio

Have fun dating your kids! Squeeze them a little tighter, love them a little harder, and know them a little deeper. Stop making excuses and do the work to raise amazing human beings. I can’t wait to hear of all the great adventures you have together! Until next time…


The GILMARTIN Girls & guy

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