To be clear, you should date your sons (or daughters,) not mine. Although mine are super cool…

Families are busy. Even the un-busiest of families have lots going on. School, work, homework, extracurricular activities, family outings – and those are just a few of the things busier families are doing. The result is that parents and kids sometimes have a hard time finding the space to just hang out.

As my two sons have gotten older, they spend more time together or with friends and less time with my husband and I. That’s okay. That’s good. It’s part of growing up and becoming more independent, but it does make it essential to carve out time to spend with each of them. Around here, we accomplish that with a mother-son date once a month.

Each month, on the date of their birthday, each of my sons pick a restaurant and off we go. It gives them a chance to dictate where/what we’ll eat and allows each boy to have private time with a parent. Without a brother interrupting them, they can talk for as long as they want about whatever they want. My youngest usually wants to talk about the latest Captain Underpants book, while my oldest is more into video games or which play he wants to audition for next.

After dinner, we head home. It’s not about getting to do something their brother doesn’t. it’s about feeling heard by me. It’s about being reassured that, no matter what, their parents are always going to make time for just them. And, it’s a chance to eat something that might not fly on a whole family outing.

I encourage you to give it a try. I think you’ll be amazed how much your kids (and you) look forward to this time.