I have a short anecdote that really showed me how important Special Time is, no matter how humdrum it may seem from the outside from time to time.
This summer we had planned a visit to the equivalent of Disney Land in Sweden. The boys, 5 and 7, had never been there and had been looking forward to the visit for many months.The theme park was a long drive away and very pricey so we planned a full day there, getting there early and staying until they closed which was past the boys’ bedtime.
Knowing how cranky they got without a full night’s sleep, we prepared them to get in their pyjamas and go straight to bed as soon as we got home, which meant no Special Time or toothbrushing. The boys looked at each other with startled eyes when I said this and asked to discuss it by themselves in another room.
They returned saying that they would rather leave the theme park a couple of hours early so that they could get home in time to have Special Time! And they get Special Time every day so it would have meant missing just one of 365 days in the year!
You can also read more about the listening tools taught by Hand in Hand in the Listening to Children series.