I've often been asked how we manage to have one-on-one time with our 8 children. It's a rare opportunity, and we do make time for it. I take our girls away on their 10th birthdays for a daugher/mom weekend, and I plan to do so when they turn 15 and 20. Just a sweet little tradition.
My husband plans times with the guys, too. Mostly, however, we agree with Todd Wilson, who graciously told me I could repost what he'd written on the subject here:
This is an interesting topic and one that can leave you feeling a little more depressed after reading about it than when you began, especially if you have a bunch of children. Because the truth is, it gets harder to spend one on one time with each child the more children you have.
We have eight children, and the thought of having to take each child out for a daddy-date or a mommy-date sounds overwhelming and practically impossible. I know for a fact that my wife sometimes feels weighted down in this area. She's fallen under the impression that, for anything to be special to a child, it has to be one on one.
I'm not sure that is true or even good for a child. Maybe it's possible for a child to feel special even when surrounded by all the other children in a family. Maybe it's even better. And that is doable.
For those of us with more than a couple children, we can make it a point to hold one of our children on our lap and talk about the day, read a book to one of our youngest, or work on a project with our oldest. We can watch a family video and snuggle up to one child in particular, go out to eat and let child "D" sit next to us at the table, or go roller skating as a family and hold hands with one of our sons or daughters as we make our way around the rink.
If you think about it, maybe it's better to train our children that they can be special without having to be away from everyone else.
Not that I'm against spending time with a child one-on-one. There are times when I have to speak somewhere, and I take one of my children with me. It's fun to talk, work, and eat together. And my wife takes one child along with her when she goes grocery shopping each week. They rotate, and she buys them a special food treat when they go. The kids love it.
Although we do those things and you might implement them as well, you should not feel guilty because you just can't seem to get them alone for one-on-one time very often. Instead, try making them feel special within a family context. I bet you could even do that today.