When you had just one bundle of joy at home it was simple to spend every available minute snuggling. However, when sibling number two (and three) came along, or you went back to work, there was a lot more schedule juggling to do. If your special relationship with your oldest seems to be missing now, or the time you spend with the younger siblings isn't as quality as it should be, sharing secrets can get those close relationships back. Creating a secret mission with each kid individually gives each child an intimate relationship with both mom and dad. This secret means the world to your kid; it's not something that is shared with other siblings, handed down after it was outgrown, or interrupted with work obligations and text messages. Pick out a secret mission for each of your children and see for yourself what sharing a secret or two can do:
Hide a small journal under their covers with instructions that this is your shared secret journal. It will only to be seen by the 2 secret agents whose names are on the back cover. You and your child will take turns writing a journal entry before hiding the diary under the other "agent's" pillows or bedcovers. The other agent will then read the entry, and respond before hiding it again. Play up the very confidential secret-mission nature of this journal to make sure it stays hidden from prying eyes (and feels extra special for your kid).
Draw an extra special bath for your child as a surprise. Set up candles in the bathroom, play some fun music or get some ideas from this article to make bath time fun for your baby. Adding in something a little extra does a lot to make your child feel important.
Your little bookworm would adore having a private book club with just 2 members. Pick out a book you loved as a kid or one you know your child will adore and spend a few minutes in their room reading. Close the door, sneak in breakfast and have book club while other siblings slumber on. Have book club before siblings get home from soccer lessons, or while others are busy doing homework. For busier schedules, find a private hour on the weekend to report back on the chapter you both read during the week.
Find a secret spot only the two of you know about and call a secret meeting there occasionally. It can be a hidden nook behind the living room couch, the back seat of dad's car, or the grassy patch outside that you can't see from the house. Spread out a blanket and have lunch there, just you two.
Sneaky slumber party
After everyone has gone to bed, gently wake up one child for a sneaky slumber party just with mom and dad. All three of you can read a bedtime story all together and have hot cocoa before falling asleep to a movie. It will feel extra special to get some alone time with just the parents and your other kids will be none the wiser.
On a grocery shopping outing, ask one child to come with you and pick out a keepsake that only the two of you know about. It could be a little prize from those $0.25 machines outside, or a little trinket found in the check out line. Take turns hiding the prize in surprising places; between the covers, inside shoes, tucked between pairs of socks, or hidden in the cupholders of the car. See how long you can keep up the secret and see it soon fall into a tradition your children will remember and hold onto until they have kids of their own.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.