I think as busy parents who have million things going on, we need to have a real conversation about special time. Just so we are all on the same page here- special time is a time of day where you spend one-on-one quality time with each child using PCIT skills such as Praises, Reflections, and Behavioral Descriptions. Okay now that we cleared that up- let's be real.
Special time isn't meant to be another thing to do, or a chore, or something you dread. That is the opposite of what we want from special time. Special time is just a time to bond and connect with your child(ren) and practice your positive parenting skills.
While we are being real- I'll just call you out- stop over-thinking special time! It's not that complicated. For example, I took my 2 & 4 year old out to dinner one night, to a restaurant, by myself (I know, I know-adventurous) and although it threw off our usual routine- I still completed special time. How?!? Well almost every restaurant provides you with a special time toy---- crayons and paper menu- perfect special time toy! So we completed special time while waiting for our food!
Another example- on weekends we spend more time outside than inside. Outside play is a great way to complete your special time. A few examples being- sidewalk chalk, bubbles, outdoor water table/pool, outdoor playground/ kitchen etc.
So our goal as parents this week is to complete special time everyday and NOT overthink it and HAVE FUN! Tell me how it goes!
Katie Smith, LCSW, PCIT Global Trainer, Mom of toddlers making special time FUN