Parents need timeout from parental duties. Whether it’s a night out with friends, a table for two, a concert, or a movie, quality time for parents is important to any relationship marriage and family. If you don’t think you can afford these dates without worrying about your kids’ happiness and safety, and childcare costs, you’re not alone. For this reason consider a child-swapping network with other couples. It is a convenient, inexpensive, reliable and rewarding alternative to a babysitter.
Family Swapping Selection: Choose a couple you know well from your neighborhood, church, or social group.
Seek Similar Ages: If you have friends with similar aged children it is a great way to get your kids together.
Make a Good Deal: Offer to take care of the couples children in exchange.
|·||Pick a Date: Select one weekend night per month as your regular date night. Agree on a reasonable time frame, 5-10 PM once per month, with a long night or sleep over every 3-4 months.|
|·||Put it in Ink: Record the dates on a calendar and make a copy to distribute to your other child-swapping couples.|
|·||Backup Plan: Discuss a cancellation policy|
|·||Personal Preferences: Create a list of your kids’ food preferences, bedtime routines, or favorite activities.|
|·||Trial Play dates: To make sure everyone gets along, schedule a few group play dates.|
|·||Game Plan: Be prepared to entertain the kids when they arrive. Try games, cooking, activities, crafts, or movies.|
What are the benefits for the Parents?
|·||No interruptions! Parents benefit from time alone.|
|·||Support system: you can share parenting, medical, and discipline tips and you have someone to call in case of an emergency.|
|·||Rejuvenating: time alone can make you feel refreshed and ready for more kid time after the night alone.|
What are the benefits for the kids?
|·||New friends: Sometimes the friendships your children form will be long lasting deep friendships.|
|·||Surrogate parents: Kids bond with other caring adults, providing someone else to turn to when Mom and Dad can not be there.|
|·||Improves social skills|