While this is a good idea during good times, during tough times, it is brilliant. It is a GIFT of your time and undivided attention. You will reap dividends.
If you are a one-parent show, like me, you can still do this. If you can’t take one at a time, take all of them. You may want to stand in a hot shower for 2 hours afterwards, or curl up in a fetal position–after effects of the the sibling interactions. However, I assure you, the benefits of your attention will far outweigh the stress of dating more than one at a time at the same time.
You will recover.
And, hopefully, they will never recover from the time, attention and sweetness of your best presence you bestowed on them.
How this works:
1. Ban electronic devices. Period.
2. Avoid hot topics and lecturing. No nagging. Wrong venue. This is a date.
3. Engage them in conversation. Teach them the ART of dialogue. Ask questions and teach them to question you. Give and take. Ask their opinion on a multitude of issues.
4. Share stories back and forth. Tell something personal and nonparental about yourself. Ask them to share something. Treat what they say like you would a date, carefully and thoughtfully. Say encouraging things.
5. Model manners. Be polite to staff and servers. Ask your sons to pull out your chair and help you with your coat if you are the mom. If you are a dad, show your kids how etiquette works. If you are on a same gender parent-child date, then talk about manners. Show them how polite people function in the world. Gently teach them little niceties that will smooth the way for them in later social situations.