Once when my daughter was out of control and trying to get her way, she starting sobbing in tears saying “you never spend any time with me”. Well, I stay home, I spend ALL KINDS of time with her! But my heart was softened by this plea while she was trying to escape bedtime, so I suggested we have tea time. Since then Tea Time has evolved many ways, and it is something we both cherish regularly.
We started out with a weekly “Tuesday Tea Time”. I try to keep a list of ideas of things to do, either generated by my daughter or that I just think she might like. Our first week I made shortbread cookies with strawberries and whipped cream. We cut some fresh flowers, got out special place mats, tea cups, and the tea set. My daughter was IN HEAVEN! She was prim and proper and LOVED every second of our “tea time”. I tried to stimulate conversation, but just being there, together, enjoying tea time was enough for her.
To her this is her mommy time, her time that I am just with her and no one else is bothering me and I have nothing else to do. To her this is a time of special treats and delicate dishes. To her this is a beautiful moment, a wonderful memory. To me this is a time I get to love my daughter, a time I get to treasure her and see who she is, a time I can learn and grow closer to her, and a time I can disciple her.
I plan to keep tea time going forever. The frequency and date and activities may change, but we will always set aside time to drink tea and enjoy each other. As my daughter grows this is a great time already set aside for discipleship. We can talk about the bible, sex, boys, friends etc. without it being “weird” by having a special time just for the conversation. The time is already scheduled in and common.
Here are several activities we have done at tea time:
- Baked together
- Tea time picnic
- Learning to “draw” together
- Visit a cemetery (tea in hand)– she was having questions about death, it was a lovely walk
- Visit a local Dahlia Garden (tea in hand)
- Read a book about sex
- Eat special treats
Since starting tea time, my husband has decided he is missing out. So I had to create a master schedule where the boys have their own special day with daddy and tea time is on an alternate week. This changes tea time from weekly to once or twice a month. We now all have our special one on one time.