I have been pondering something recently, a dilemma which I don’t know the answer to.

Is spending one-on-one time with your child beneficial rather than letting them get used to how it really is when there are various siblings in the family?

Should we be giving our children individual attention so they get you all to themselves, ‘quality time’, to deepen your relationship, to create a deeper bond, to make them feel special or is it better for all siblings to get used to from a very early age that it’s about sharing, being all together, collaboration. Can giving one-on-one time make the child resentful of the other siblings, other children, other family and friends that are taking you away from them?

There is only 18 months between my two sons, so when Tiago, came along, Antonio was still very young and I felt and wanted to continue giving Antonio my undivided attention. I didn’t want him to feel left out and because baby brother was on the scene, that he wasn’t important. So in the first few weeks of Tiago’s arrival, Antonio and I would have a couple of hours in the park most days, just the two of us. But soon life settled down and having one-on-one time was not an option. As the months went by, Antonio started to play up and I was advised it was due to not having enough mum time to himself, so we arranged that on saturday mornings, Tiago would stay with dad and I would take Antonio out, just us two. While things slightly improved, I felt it wasn’t a long term solution.

Almost 3 years later, Antonio still plays up whether we have one-on-one time or not. I realise each child is different and gets impacted by the world around him in various ways. But it is a question I have been pondering and has been bugging me. I never felt completely ok with just taking Antonio out, feeling what was important was for all of us to be together, getting used to each other, figuring out our different personalities and how we all fitted together as a family.

I would love to hear your views on this and what you have tried, what worked, what didn’t.

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