Have you ever considered dating your kids? Just like you go on a date with your spouse to spend one-on-one time together, you can (and I propose, you should) do the same with your children! A study from the Journal of Marriage and Family showed that kids who spend more time with their parents are less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; are less likely to engage in risky, delinquent, or illegal behaviors; and achieve better math scores.

I am so inspired at how my sister-in-law, Shannon, makes this a priority. As a Mama to three young girls, she has come up with a crafty and creative way to intentionally “date” each of her daughters every month.

The Plan

Her first daughter, D, was born on June 14th. Her second daughter, P, was born on May 29th. And her third daughter, A, was born on April 4th.

She marks the 14th of every month on her calendar with a D, the 29th of every month with a P, and the 4th of every month with an A. Now, her date nights with each daughter are written on the family calendar, protected and reserved against other plans.

Date Night Activities

So, what happens on these intentional date nights? On their day, the child gets to pick an activity of their choice to do with one parent. (Side note: It would be ideal for both parents to participate in each child’s date every month. But in reality, that’s tough to make happen. My sister-in-law and her husband are not in a stage of life where they can afford a babysitter three or more times per month. So if you’re in that season as well, don’t fear, you can still date your kids!).

The beauty of this is that your dates don’t have happen at night and don’t have to look like traditional “dinner and a movie.” Many times my nieces have told me about going on a bike ride with Daddy in the park; having ice cream with Mommy; getting to go to the hardware store with Dad; going shopping with Mom for a family member’s birthday gift. The kids simply enjoy having one-on-one time with their parents.

Whether the date takes 30 minutes or two hours, the parents are sure to make it special. They specifically call it a “date.” They talk about the date all day before it occurs. They pursue their child’s heart and emotions. They savor the love and joy during the event. And the child feels so loved, cherished, valued, and secure in their child-parent relationship.

Make it a priority.

Do you think you can spare a few hours per month to purposefully pursue your child?

Begin by marking your child’s birth date on every month in your calendar. Ask your child what activity they would like to do with you. Older kids will likely have no trouble deciding (“I want to see a new movie” or “I want to shop for new clothes”…). But it is probably helpful to offer a few suggestions and ideas to your younger children. This is one habit that will be rewarding to both you and your child!


Jana is the odd one out. Not a parent herself, she writes from the perspective of a young baby sitter. Experienced in making bedtime fun, she brings a unique perspective to parenting. She hopes that all she learns now will make the magic of being a parent just that extra bit special. She has no fixed address and is vagabonding around the globe, widening her world view.