When you take your toddler to Disney World, you expect them to gush about the rides, the characters, and Cinderella's Castle.
My daughter's favorite part?
The time she spent each evening with one parent in the resort pool.
It was our one-on-one time for the vacation; an hour when either my husband or I took our daughter on a date.
Relationship experts love to tell us date night is going to save our marriage, but you can apply the same concept to your relationship with your kid.
If you don't have some positive "me" time, things can get stale fast.
They're not exactly mapped out, but date nights (or date days -- she is just a kid after all) are something we've tried to make happen at least a few times a month.
Whether it's daddy taking her out to Chuck E. Cheese (because bless him, he can handle the screaming children and obnoxious arcade) or me walking her down to the corner store for sandwiches and a chocolate milk, it's nice to be just the two of us for a few reasons:
1. The positive tone of the day cuts out on discipline issues. We really can just enjoy each other's company, and these times get me through tough days when she's exerting her independence in, um, frustrating ways.
2. With the attention all on her, my daughter shares things she often wouldn't with both parents in the room. Not because she hides them from Dad, but because she has more opportunities to talk -- and more comes out.
3. It's a whole new "me" time. The big key is not to plan too big for these outings -- because then they're less stressful. Really, just getting a sandwich with your child is enough. Not feeling like you're supposed to accomplish anything means you're actually de-stressing.
It's easier in our house with an only child, but my friend B. does it with her kids too. Her husband will take one child while she takes the other -- changing up who has which child and where they go so the kids get an equal share of both Mom and Dad to themselves.
Do you date your child?
Image by Jeanne Sager