One-on-One Time


We call it “One-Oh Time” in our house.

My littlest coined the phrase a while back. In was her baby-talk way of asking me to spend “one-on-one time” with her. We laughed at the cute expression, but it stuck. Now we all use the term for our special mommy-and-me times.

Our kids need more than training and discipline. They need us.

We started this practice of one-on-one time a few years ago during a particularly frustrating parenting season. My days were spent correcting and instructing, yet the negative behavior continued. My husband suggested that maybe our kids needed some focused alone time with me – just the two of us having fun together.

Sure enough, it made a world of difference. Contentment settled in. Each child seemed to come alive as I joined him or her in doing things they love to do.

Our kids need more than training and discipline. They need us. They need to be reminded that we love them, that we enjoy spending time with them, that we think they’re really special – no matter how they behave.

Having fun together is a great way to help them remember.

Here are some tips for spending one-on-one time with our kids:

  • Let them choose

I don’t particularly love LEGOS – I’m a bit clueless when it comes to creating masterpieces from tiny bricks. But all three of my kids love playing with them, so LEGO building is a frequent choice for our times together. Sometimes we read books (my favorite). Other times we color or play a game. They all love the chance to pick our one-on-one activity.

  • Unplug

My phone is a frequent distraction. To eliminate the problem, it’s helpful to put it somewhere away from our hang-out spot. Text messages and notifications can wait. Putting our devices aside communicates to our kids that they are our priority.

  • Focus on the relationship

Whatever activity they choose, these alone times are a beautiful way to deepen our friendship with our kids. Ask open-ended questions. Talk about what’s going on in their lives. Point out things you love about them.

As we invest in our kids through focused time together, we model the heart of our God who takes great delight in His kids.


  1. wordvessel

    I have noticed this about my kids too. How often do you have these times?

    • DazzledByTheSon

      Weekly is my goal. But we often find ourselves running so busy that we go long periods between these special times together. In such seasons (right now is one of them), we can still carve out one-on-one time in other ways – inviting one child to run errands with us or help in the kitchen, etc. Then try to be intentional about asking open-ended questions and showing our delight in them as we work together.
      It’s a balancing act, this parenting gig. And so often I fall off the beam. 😊 But God is so faithful to show us how we can cultivate relationships, no matter what season we find ourselves in.

      • wordvessel

        Thank you! I am still trying to find that balance of being focused on my children while also showing them that they are not the center of my life. Does that make sense? I want to show them how to be work, worship and reach out to others.

  2. paynefulponderings

    I neglected my gmail account and my blog for months now. Opened email today to delete old stuff and start fresh but this heading caught my attention. I read it and laughed because of God’s perfect timing taking hold of me yet again. Last night, while the horses were eating I pulled out my phone to play a game. I sat under the roof of the breezeway, listening to the sounds of horses munching and rain pattering. Next thing I realize is Reecie had finished, walked up to me, lowered her face down, and in the horsey way asked for some one-on-one time. It made me feel good that she wanted ME, but it made me sad when I realized she had to ask, because me phone had my attention. New promise to myself, and Reecie, at the barn my phone is for emergencies and pictures only. No games, no FaceBook, no distractions. I’m going to reblog this post just in case God wants to use it again, to remind someone else….

  3. paynefulponderings

    Reblogged this on paynefulponderings and commented:
    Yesterday, in her own way, Reecie (my horse) asked for some one-on-one time. Yes, I was on my phone, playing a game, while at the barn. What a waste. Thank you Reecie for letting me know you wanted to be with me. Thank you God for bringing this post to my attention. At just the time I needed it.


  1. Helping Our Kids Thrive During Social Distancing | Dazzled By The Son - […] One-on-One Time […]

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