Getting One-on-One time
My boys are together so all the time -- at home, at school they share a room, etc. So of course they fight and bicker like siblings do -- but they are also each other's best friend. I know they really need some time apart but when the time comes for one to go off with me and one go with my husband they get really sad and want to be together. Any Suggestions?
Also, what are some of your favorite activites to do when you are spending special time with just one of your children. Maybe really playing it up will get them more excited about it. I'm sure as they get older they will REALLY benefit from the time apart :)
I try to take one of my older children on a special outing of their own, at least once a week. I think that if you find something that is important to them and play it up that will really help. We go to children's museums, movies, etc.
My oldest daughter is really into fashion and princess stuff, sometimes we go get our hair done together. Try to find something that would really interest each individual son, as an individual person. Take time out with that particular child to do this fun thing. Make a big deal out of it, so that they know it is there special day to do what they really like. Then the next week or day, take the other little one out on their own special day.
I too, believe that alone time is very important. My children all share rooms and spend a lot of time together, so I try to do things individually as much as possible. They appreciate the attention and it helps them to grow as an individual, outside of the shadow of their siblings.
I have found that I typically don't start doing individual "alone time" with my children until they turn about 10 years of age. At that point they seem to want to have a special "date" with Mum and the time is valued by both my child and by me.
But in their early years I find that training my children to share and take turns and think of others first works well when they are with their siblings. There are times when a child will decide to read a book on their own or will quietly color or do a craft project in their room, on their own, but it's usually something they initiate.
I've found great value in having many children who are constantly around each other (homeschooling facilitates this) and they are all very good friends. I have one child who has a "lion" temperament, and he tends to cause the most arguments/problems, but with all of the other 4 children, they will play very well together and arguments are far and few between.
Also, I guard our family from framily fragmenting activities. I would prefer that two children go to Grandma's rather than just one. When we attend church, we all sit together. I know it's not what normally happens in our culture, but the value of family time together and "serving others" is important to me so I've done what I thought was best to faciliate training my children in this way, and so far, we have had two children go through their teenage years without the typical "teenage rebellion" (they are 18 and 19 now and in college). They happily help, care for and play with their younger siblings and it's only on the rare occasion that they view them as an inconvenience. This has just been my experience and I know that each family has their own goals and respect the way others choose to do things with their children.
Thans Kate and Mom2Many.
Mom2Many ~ Those are some great ideas. Encouraging their individual interests is definitely something my husband and I try to do and as the boys get older it will probably become even more so. Twins generally get lumped in together as one individual. People assume they like the same things and do the same things and while this is true to a point, my boys are very much their own people :)
Kate ~ I totally see how what you are saying could be very beneficial. We do almost everything as a family and my boys are each other's best friend. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't taking anything away from them by not providing individual time with Mum or Dad. They do share better and get along better with most kids their age (less confrontations) so maybe we should keep things they way they are for a it longer :)