Thursday, April 11, 2019

Memorable Mother-Daughter Trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Bear with me, I'm covering a lot in this post. But I promise, it's worth it. 

Starting last year, Ava, my eldest daughter (she’s nine), discovered Harry Potter. She started off with the movies and has recently grown interest in reading the books. When she started to fall in love with it I was so excited because I am such a fan of the series. I knew I wanted to take her to Harry Potter World also known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando. Originally, I planned for the whole family to go, but then I started to think how awesome it would be to spend some one-on-one time with Ava. Ever since Lily (my second oldest) was born, we have always done things with both girls. This was an opportunity to take a mother-daughter trip and spend some quality time with just us.

Our birthdays are a week apart in March so I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate both our birthdays. I prayed to the rain gods to spare us because it is rainy season in Florida and we got super lucky! I decided to take advantage of a teacher work day and spend a Monday at the park. We were hoping it might help with crowd control. But stay tuned for a separate post sharing my tips for taking advantage of one day in the park. In this post I wanted to share why this trip meant so much to both me and Ava and why I think it’s important for everyone to spend one-on-one time with your kids.

It Strengthens your Bond

The bond a mother has with their child is something truly special. It’s so important to continually build on the bond and find ways to strengthen it. A mother-daughter trip is one way, but there are so many other more practical ways too (read further down)! For this trip, we drove down to Orlando on Sunday, spent one day in the park, then drove back home on Tuesday.  I enjoyed the drive and the free time I had with Ava just as much as I enjoyed the time we spent together in the park. Ava didn’t have to yell over her siblings to get my individual attention and she was able to talk and share freely. I was able to listen to her so much better. There were no other distractions and I was able to focus on just her. One of my favorite moments was being able to see her excitement and reactions throughout the day. In the car we listened to our favorite music (she is obsessed with Shawn Mendez right now) and sing all the songs together. We both loved it!

It Directly Communicates You Value Their Needs

Each child is different and one-on-one time allows your child to embrace their individuality and it reinforces they are special and they will want to share more. I wanted to show Ava I value her time and attention. The night we arrived in Orlando we went out to eat and it was just so nice to have a nice meal with the birthday girl and truly celebrate her. She had the idea of painting our nails and designing harry potter symbols on them so after dinner we made a pit stop at Walgreens and we picked out our colors. Now, if I had all four kids with me making a pit stop would just not work. Getting out of the car is an ordeal in itself.  I was happy we could make a fun stop and paint our nails before bed.

One-on-One Time Not Only Benefits Your Child

One-on-one time is good for you too! The more time you spend with each child, the more you learn and grow as a parent. Your relationship strengthens and you are more understanding when times get tough. You learn to have more patience because you're more in tuned to their feelings and personality.

Easy Ideas to Inspire One-on-One Time

One of my goals for this year is to carve out that special time to spend with each of my kids. It doesn't have to be complicated. Even just thirty minutes of undivided attention can be so impactful. I think dedicating that time is so important. I am a mom of four and taking a kid on a trip isn't the most practical. So here are a few ideas to inspire you to spend one-on-one time with your kids right now. You can even let them decide on what you do together. I encourage you to make connecting with each of your kids individually a priority. It's a win-win!
  • Take turns running errands
  • Have a special movie night
  • Ice cream or froyo date
  • Grab Starbucks and walk through Target
  • Sign up for a class together (pottery, DIY, dance)
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood
  • Go to a playground
  • Manicure/pedicure
  • Share a meal together over breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner
  • Volunteer together
  • Explore the city
  • Get pampered at a hair salon

Which one of these ideas will you choose first? Let me know in the comments! I can't wait to hear how you connect with your little ones. 

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