What is the Value of One on One Time?


How can we be sure to give each of our children what they need? We can start by knowing them well, and there are few things better for that than one-on-one time together.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way… Ephesians 4:15a

I’m the fourth of four kids. I jokingly say that my older three siblings were the “practice” children, and I got the benefit of parents who knew what they were doing. There’s truth in most jokes; this one is no exception. My well-practiced father once told me he and Mom treated us fairly, even though they treated us differently. They gave each of us what we needed, and that was different from kid to kid.

As parents we get to create environments and opportunities allowing our children to share their hearts with us.

These are a few easy ideas to employ as we seek to really know our children:

  1. Everyday Opportunities – Got a chore or an errand to run? Take along one child. Explain how to do what we’re doing. Let them participate in doing something to help the family. Leave phones behind. 
  2. Weekend Breakfast – Before everyone else is up, make breakfast with one child. Let them contribute ideas about the menu and table setting as well as help with the cooking. Or, hit a doughnut shop just the two of you. 
  3. The car is our friend! – Need to have a hard conversation, or a conversation about a difficult subject…especially with your teenager? Do it in the car! By design, you can’t have eye contact and drive. So, it takes a bit of pressure off for both of you to be able to confide in each other about potentially embarrassing topics. 
  4. Do “their thing”. – Does your son love basketball? Take him to a local high school game. Discuss the finer points of the game. Is your daughter really into musical theater? Listen to a soundtrack of a musical she likes while you’re in the car together.  Ask her about what she likes about the story and music. Take interest in their interests. 
  5. Ask Questions and Listen. – During your one-on-one time ask open-ended questions. Listen to their answers. It takes energy and effort to listen. Seek to understand, not “fix” or lecture. (So tough – I know!) 
  6. Discipline one-on-one. – Have harder conversations with each child by themselves – no peanut gallery around to throw in their opinion of the situation. Wait until tempers are cool and you’re not in the heat of the moment. Let them know you’re not returning to a hard conversation to beat them up about it again, but to do your job as their parent: discipline them. At the end of such conversations, be sure your child felt heard and understood, even if you don’t agree.

One-on-one time can create great memories.  It’s worth being intentional to carve out time…big and small…to be one-on-one with each of our kids.

Camper Corner:

When is a time you remember spending with one of your parents?  What are some things you remember about that time?  Ask a parent to breakfast sometime in the next month!

Related Blogs

  • How Does God’s Daily Provision Affect Our Resilience?

    Hey Camp Family! My name is Stacy Garrett and I’m a camp registrar.  Today let’s look at how focusing on God’s provision in our lives can help us be resilient people. Scripture Matthew 6:25 & 26 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your...

    Learn more
  • How can a Child be Confident in their Beliefs while Respecting People with Opposing Beliefs?

    Hey Camp Family! Lauren Stacy, Camp Travis Women’s Director, gives perspective on how to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ Jesus…even when others disagree. Scripture 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the...

    Learn more
  • How to Help our Kids Know the “Why’s” of Faith

    Hey Camp Family! Janna Kelsey, Camp Store Manager, shares the importance of equipping our kids with the ability to explain why they believe what they believe. Scripture 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for...

    Learn more
  • What is the Importance of Enjoying Nature?

    Hey Camp Family! Madi Tipton, Base Camp Women’s Director, reminds us of so many benefits of enjoying God’s creation out in nature. Scripture Romans 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived,...

    Learn more
  • How Can Parents Help Kids when it Comes to Pornography?

    Hey Camp Family! Welcome back. This week on Family Matters, we’re going to talk about how you as parents can help equip your sons and daughters to handle pornography. Scripture John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Video Reflect Have the courage to approach the topic of...

    Learn more
  • Why is it Important for Parents to Pray WITH Kids?

    Hey Camp Family! Modeling how to connect with God through prayer is one of the absolute greatest gifts parents can give kids. Scripture Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Video Reflect Model talking with God this shows He is approachable! Pray early, pray often, pray consistently. Be worthy...

    Learn more