One-one-one time with dad or one of the family?

(21 Posts)
brdgrl Mon 26-Aug-13 14:55:41

I agree, Frikadellen.

(Not to stir the pot too much, but on other recent threads it has been posited that rooms in the home "should not" be declared out of bounds to children. I think your suggestion is a good one and incidentally, provides a clear example of exactly why it is in fact healthy and a good idea to do so at times.)

Frikadellen Mon 26-Aug-13 13:37:40

1 on 1 time doesnt have to be expensive treats or meals out.

Simply going for a walk together or saying " ok for the next 30 minutes x room is out of bounds as x and I are having a drink and a chat together to spend time together" (play x box what ever)

It is about ensuring your doing stuff together, Doesnt have to be big treats.

Mueslimorning Sun 25-Aug-13 13:01:16

Thanks for all the replies, its very enlightening to read to so many viewpoints. Overall I'd say though that I fit in there with my opinion too.
Had a talk with dh and he admitted he was over doing the 1 on 1 with dss. Basically its the easiest option for them both as they don't have to deal with peers. Dh has agreed to encourage dss to be more positive about finding friends and being a bit more sociable himself, I,e leading by example.
I'm very pleased by his attitude as it feels we are more a team, and dss will get to develop socially a bit more too.

Petal02 Sun 25-Aug-13 09:47:52

I think Redhen makes a good point - that when a teenager makes the 1-2-1 time their sole focus, in preference to developing a social life of their own, then you know things aren't too healthy. I think some non- resident fathers turn 1-2-1 time into continual expensive treats and entertainment, that this actually becomes the child's first choice of weekend plans. Then the father is happy because the 1-2-1 time is almost guaranteed, providing he can keep paying, even though the real cost is to the child's social development.

FindingSanity Sat 24-Aug-13 19:11:05

I think a mix of both is good. DH has plenty of one on one with ours when the DSC aren't here so I have no problem with him sometimes going off to do something with them alone when they are here. However, I also think it's important to be part of a family too and for them to have some time with their siblings.

If DH does do some one on one we do try to then have a family meal all together that night and maybe a family movie day the next.

brdgrl Sat 24-Aug-13 12:00:55

I think sometimes there can be a bit of an unhealthy situation develop where dsc are given one to one time and also treated as more special than anyone else within the family. I think one to one time is essential if combined with good parenting which encourages them to learn independence alongside age appropriate one to one time.
Well put.

purpleroses Sat 24-Aug-13 08:43:43

I think it' s important but shouldn't form the key focus of every weekend. Family time and time with you and DSC are important too

theredhen Sat 24-Aug-13 08:03:10

As part of a blended family I do feel this is particularly important. My ds was an only child for many years and he still behaves differently when he's on his own with me than when he is with dsc and my dp. He's much more himself when we are alone and it gives both of us a bit of breathing space.

Dp has been less bothered about creating one to one time and its especially hard as he has 4 dc. However, it does happen occasionally and I do think its important. Interestingly his kids claim to not be bothered about it and I also know they never ever get it with mum, unless by accident, which is rare.

I think sometimes there can be a bit of an unhealthy situation develop where dsc are given one to one time and also treated as more special than anyone else within the family. I think one to one time is essential if combined with good parenting which encourages them to learn independence alongside age appropriate one to one time.

When I hear about teens who look to their parent every weekend for fun one to one time without having a social life if their own, then you know things aren't as healthy as they could be.

Frikadellen Fri 23-Aug-13 23:57:57

like Lunar I am a step daughter..

I was 5 when my parents divorced..

I would have loved for my father to show any wish of being with me just to get who I was..

I have taken that with me and as an adult I make a point out of spending time with each of my children.I want them to remember I felt they were worthwhile.

CountryGal13 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:55:00

I was 16 when my dad left us for another woman. Once I accepted his new wife I never got to see my dad alone again. At that time I didn't mind my his wife and we got on quite well but I really did need some time alone with my dad. He's passed away now and I feel sad that we didn't spend any time alone in the last years we had together.
I'm now a step mum and I tend to go out and do my own thing some of the time they're here to give them time with their dad...and to give myself a break too!

mumtobealloveragain Fri 23-Aug-13 19:57:56

We don't purposely create any "artificial" situations (as petal called them) but it just works out that we have 1:1 time with our own children at various times. That's partly due to my children and my partner children being here at different times but also because sometimes there are things that not all of us want to do, an activity or a day out etc.

Sometimes I might do things with a mixture of my children and DSc and sometimes DP does the same. I think we have the same set up as a "normal" family where all children are bio children, surely in most "non step" families not everyone wants to do the same thing, go for the same meal, see the same show etc.

Petal02 Fri 23-Aug-13 18:00:54

I think it's about striking a balance. Whilst some 1-2-1 time is certainly, IMO, desirable you need to mix this with normal family life, otherwise you end up with intense, artificial situations that would never take place in a bio family.

lunar1 Fri 23-Aug-13 17:38:30

You make some really good points brdgrl, it's not even just a step issue really. On a weekend dh and I make sure we both get some 1:1 time with each of our boys. Even if its just half an hour.

NatashaBee Fri 23-Aug-13 17:33:01

In general, I think that it should be as part of a family unit - step-parents, half or step-siblings. But surely the parent should take time out regularly to spend time with each individual child and do something that they particularly will like?

brdgrl Fri 23-Aug-13 17:24:43

My situation is a bit different, because my DSCs live with us all the time (their mum is deceased). So there is not that dimension of 'limited time' with dad, IYSWIM. DH and I have a DD together, as well.

I agree with you that being a part of the family is really, really important, and I don't think that 'solo' time with dad should be at the expense of that, or instead of that.

On the other hand, I think in all families, getting one-on-one time with parent(s) is a great thing. I grew up in a large 'intact' family, and I still craved (and did sometimes get) time with my father, just us, and with my mother, just us. It's not just step-children that need solo time.

I try to make sure that DH spends time with each one of the three kids one-on-one. Sometimes that's easier than other times! And a lot depends on the kids' ages and temperaments. Because I have one DSC who is more demanding and has in the past really dominated things, we have to make more of an effort to 'even things out' and find opportunities for the other two children to have his attention.

In our home now, there are in some ways, four family units. There is the unit that includes all of us - DH, me, DD, DSCs. There is the unit which is me and DD. There is me, DH, and DD. And there is DH and the DSCs. I actually think this is very healthy, and it is definitely the way that works best for us and our particular situation. Sometimes DH and the DSCs do things separately. Sometimes DD and I do. And lots of times, we do it all together.

SoulTrain Fri 23-Aug-13 17:03:40

I never ever had one day with my Dad without my stepmum there. It's important for all parents to have time with their kids to build their own relationships. I can still remember special Christmas trips out with my lovely stepdad!

needaholidaynow Fri 23-Aug-13 16:54:53

One on one time with parents is vital. In fact I don't think DSD gets this enough with her dad and we need to make more effort to achieve this. On the same note, it is important that I get one on one time with my own children. DSD has been here for 2 weeks now and gone back to her mum's today. It is like a breath of fresh air being able to give my undivided attention to my DSs and not have to consider DSD. An lastly as a stepdaughter myself, I used to love it when I could see my mum on her own.

lunar1 Fri 23-Aug-13 16:38:22

As a step daughter I would have loved some one to one time with my parents without any step family. Never bloody got any though.

louby44 Fri 23-Aug-13 16:35:18

We too spend time with our own kids. My DH will pick his 2 DD from school and take them for pizza (before bringing them here for the weekend) without me or my 2 DS. I sometimes do the same with my d ds.

His girls have actually told him that they sometimes think he prefers being with me than them. And have said they'd like to do things just the 3 of them. My DH isn't always comfortable with this though as he says I'm being left out. But it really doesn't bother me at all. I think he should spend time with them and I encourage it.

Kaluki Fri 23-Aug-13 16:12:22

I'm sorry to say o disagree with you. I think one on one time with a parent is important for any child. I like 1:1 time with my dc away from the dsc and I know the dsc benefit from the time they are with DP on their own.
I often take my dc away by myself and DP does the same with his. They all love this as it gives them more quality time without having to fight for attention.

Mueslimorning Fri 23-Aug-13 13:56:30

I'm of the opinion that dsc should feel part of the family first and foremost and if one on one time with dad happens its fine but should not be the norm.
My ds 15 is part of the family at his dad and sm's home, sometimes even bringing a friend to stay. The three of them go out to dinner, on holiday or any other event. He has always liked his sm (so do I!) and has never grieved over not having dad all to himself when there (eow, odd week during year when off school).
My dh feels one on one with his dc is really important and will go out of his way to make this possible, especially dss 12 is often lost without dad to entertain him. Dsd 16 is now less inclined to spend time with dad alone, actually warming to me now with girl chats etc. but dh still actively seeks this time with her.
My question is how do you as sms feel about one on one time?
I often think it is actually quite bad manners to deliberately leave someone out of a family equation.
Is it in fact dhs who can't let go and make dsc feel "special" (dreaded word)?
Hmmm...

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