A couple years ago, I told about Date Night, and how it really added some fun to our marriage, and our home. I heard a LOT of feedback, and it sounds like a bunch of people started adding it in their homes also. Well, now it’s bigger than ever (actually, since my handsome hubby’s new job, we haven’t instituted our own date night! Note to self: schedule again.)

Like every good thing we do, I got the idea from someone else. I tried to track down the blog, but I cant find it now. If you’ve seen it, let me know. I would love to link to it, so everyone can read it. I also don’t know if we do it the same as they do, and I’d love to get some more ideas.

So, what’s the diff?

This Date Night, is for the kids. Well, precisely, one kid. On the anniversary of their birthday each month, that child gets to stay up an hour later. It sounds like no big deal, but to them, it is. They count down to it within a week of their last one.

What do we do?

Well, whatever they want to. The Clever One likes to do science experiments. The Pretty One likes to watch a “Grown Up” show (we’ve settled on Reba. She laughs with the laugh track, without fail.) Usually Uno is involved, or charades. Pretty much whatever we can fit into an hour (and they have planned it for a month!) I also try to have a special snack- hot chocolate, favourite food, etc. At the end of the hour, we pray a blessing over them, and pray for anything that they bring up through conversation.

Why do they love it?

They have Daddy and Mommy all to themselves, and they get to stay up late while their poor siblings have to trudge off to bed. That in itself IS AWESOME. My handsome hubby and I also genuinely try to do whatever they want. There is something intensely exhausting about hunting up Borax and food colouring (and loooots of paper towels) but within that hour, the sky is the limit.

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Why do we love it?

We get to see new parts of the kids in full view. The Pretty One wanted to help with kitchen renovations, so we got the girl some tools and she worked with Daddy. The One with The Role showed me some of his favourite toy videos on YouTube. It was like him letting us in to a part of his world. They open up, and talk to us about things that might not come up during the day. There is nothing I love more than snuggling on the couch with my HH as we pray over our children. Blessing their gifts, their talents, their relationships, their futures, their friendships, their struggles. That time is priceless to me. Sometimes they pray for us in return, and their words to Jesus just melt my heart.

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Some advice:

Stick to a limit. If the night goes super late, not only will they expect that each time, but you will be exhausted and not likely to keep it up. Commitment is key: the nights have gotten better and better each month. Our children go to bed at 7:00 pm, which means that a few times a month, one child goes down at 8. It still gives us downtime and a good night’s sleep, and it doesn’t leave us with exhausted kids in the morning. We always try to DO STUFF BIG, sometimes, doing something little and being consistent is way better.

How do you make your kids feel special? What traditions do you hold dear, and what do you want to start? I’d love to hear from you!