Monday, January 16, 2012

"You and Me Moments" with your kiddos.

I am over at Here today talking about setting one-on-one dates with your kiddos. In therapy terms- we call it Filial Therapy or Child Parent Relationship Therapy. It is where the parent sets up special play dates with their child on a weekly basis. If done consistently and appropriate, it can have so many benefits for both the parent and child: 

Benefits for child:
Understand and communicate feelings more openly
Be more confident in asking and telling parents what they need
Increase self-esteem
Feel more secure with parents

Benefits for Parent:
Finding joy in playing
More understanding of their child's needs and worries
Increasing listening and communication skills
Closer relationship with their child

To get started:
  1. Collect a variety of toys and art supplies and place them in a bin. The toys in this bin are to be saved for the “Special Play dates.”  Below is a list of recommended toys. 
  2. Set a consistent time and find an uninterrupted place in your home suitable for playing without distractions. Make sure it is a place where you aren’t worried of things getting a bit messy.
  3. Make a sign to put on the door for everyone to know that there is a “You & Me” moment occurring.

What toys should you look for putting in your toy box?

Real-life toys:
-small baby doll
-nursing bottle
-doctor kit
-toy phone
-kitchen dishes w/pretend food
-play  money
-animals different sizes
-dress up
-magic wand

Aggressive Toys:
-dart guns
-toy soldiers
-rubber knife
-foam sword
-Nerf guns

Creative/emotional expression
-play dough
-scissors and flue
-deck of cards
-musical instruments

Want to learn how to make this nifty door hanger? Head on over to How Does She and find out how I did it!

Things I encourage parents to do during play dates:
  1. Set the stage by setting a blanket down for boundaries and placing the toys on the outer edge of the blanket. Try to place them the same way every time to keep consistency.
  2. Avoid criticizing or taking charge during play.
  3. Avoid lectures or giving information.
  4. Allow your child to be the boss- that means to  act as an active follower.
  5. Reflect your child’s feelings and verbally describe what you see them doing.
  6. Transitioning can be difficult at times so try giving a 5 minute warning or setting a timer when there is only five minutes left.

More to come on"Special Play dates."



  1. I wish I was there to play with Nico.

  2. This is such a beautiful idea! We make a point to have one-on-one dates with each kiddo separately for an activity outside the house, but adding to it with this simple weekly way would be so special for them. I'm a work from home MOM and my attention will never be enough it seems. Distraction free one one on eye contact and play has been so helpful, but this will take it to the next level and fill their hearts more I think. Thank you for sharing and so happy I found the source of this piece!