The solution I came up with was a special time each day, after baby sister had gone down for her nap and before big brother came home from school, that would be our time together. I had her help me decorate a shoebox that we designated our Time Together Box. Each day I put something in the box to show her what we are going to do together that day. Here are a few of the things that have gone into the box:
- wooden spoon or cookie mix
- game piece (Candyland is a favorite)
- nail polish
- princess movie
She loves to come home and open her box to see what we're going to do together.
My son got a little jealous, so I made one with him also, with the condition that we get to do it only after homework is done. It helps him to focus on getting his homework done more quickly. But if time runs out he also understands that homework time is my one-on-one time with him, and the time can't always be extended to allow for more fun stuff (baby sister gets up from her nap and dinner needs to be prepared). However, we usually get a chance to do something fun (Legos, War card game, dominoes, etc.) a few times a week.
I have found that I learn more about my kids from these 15-30 minutes I spend with them each day than I learn from the other 6-9 hours we're all together! It's something we all look forward to!