Dinner Swap or Exchange:
Most dates just involve you and your child or children, but this one is an exception. For this date, you’ll find a similar parent-child combination and ask to swap homemade dinners with them. I recommend they be someone you’re close friends with. For the date, you and your child will create your favorite dinner and give it to them and receive theirs in return. The dinner is the date’s main emphasis because of the preparation put into it, but don’t stop there. As you arrange this date with the other parent, you could ask that he or she also provide a favorite board game and/or movie. When you swap dinners, you’ll bring your child’s favorite game or movie to swap. This’ll allow each of you to experience family favorites. The closer your relationship to the other couple, the more comfort and freedom you’ll have.
The date itself comes in two parts that can take place on the same day or two different occasions. The first part is choosing and making the meal, getting a copy of the movie, and picking the game. Exchanging and enjoying the date the other couple planned for you at home is the second. If you want, the four of you can later get together and talk about all the things you liked – or disliked – about the evening.
WMTDS (What Makes This Date Special):
This date is unique because of the time spent together, creating a meal for others, an intimate and warm thing to do. There is also an aspect of bonding and relationship building shared with the other couple involved.
Cooking and baking
Discussions about relationships and friendships
There are many teachable moments related to cooking as you prepare the meal. While making the meal, you also have an opportunity to talk with your child about why relationships and friendships are so meaningful and valuable in our lives.
You can also swap out dates within your own family so that one parent and child switch with the other.
One idea is to do one care package per month for a year. Make a tradition of it. Amazon (see below) also offers excellent options if you want to continue doing this.
Since you will be exchanging one meal for another, this date could be free, grocery money aside, or cost very little. The only exception is if you have to buy the movie. You could also purchase the movie or game for the other couple as a gift.
The planning needed for this date is to identify the other couple and coordinate the day of the date. Decide if you want to make the meal the same day as you exchange meals or if you’re breaking it into two evenings.
For a list of other ideas on how to spend one-on-one time with your child, see the full list here.