Date Day

When Will was born with a rare chromosome deletion, his older sister was 22 months old. For the next year of her life, she had a mom who was grieving off and on. Several years later, Will now has a two year old sister in the mix.

I have the same worries that I imagine many of us with multiple children have. How will we make sure that siblings get enough of the attention? How will I make sure that they aren’t constantly sacrificing because of their brother’s needs? How do I balance it all? 

In our house, the two year old demands attention in her own little spunky way. Though I obviously make a conscious effort to spend time with her, I don’t worry that she’ll get left in the dust. She’s a survivor, and she will let anyone around her know it.

I worry more about my oldest. The one who is a people pleaser and an easy going kid. Because Will needs more than his fair share of the attention, I worry.

at Build-A-Bear on Date Day

So, two years ago, we came up with what is known in our house as “Date Day.” Date Day was given the name because we told the kids that they would be on a date with one parent or the other. The first Saturday of the month we take turns giving one of our kids one on one attention. The remaining kids do something fun with the other parent. Things we’ve done include everything from free activities (visiting the zoo, going to Home Depot for Kids’ Workshop) to fun activities that don’t happen very often (Build a Bear, painting your own pottery places). We go to lunch at a place of the child’s choosing and are back at our house with the rest of the family by early afternoon.

I can’t say that Date Day takes away all of my worries, but it has forced us to be disciplined in scheduling alone time for each child, which benefits the entire family. 

How do other families handle the sibling issue? I’d love to hear ideas.

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