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I have a set of twins.. A boy and girl who are 5 years old. I love them both equally and want to have some one one time with each of them..

My son and I go for a haircut every month (or so), and we then do a little bit of shopping. It is a wonderful day out, that my daughter can't come on, because she doesn't get her hair cut with daddy.

But the thing is: I also really want a day with my daughter. Something that wouldn't make sense for my boy to come to. It has to be something she will buy as "real", and something I'd have to do about once a month (or so).


This is different from the duplicate in that it cannot be games or things that a boy would do. It has to be something that I could say "this is a daddy - katie (fake name)" thing.

I don't have even the slightest bit of trouble finding something to do with the pair. Or even one on one. But consistently with one and never the other... that one is beyond my imagination.

  • Oh.. to be clear, I spend a heap of time with both.. I'm not trying to get out of that. I just want to be fair with my little girl. – baash05 Apr 18 '15 at 10:57
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    One thing I hate about SE, is that once a question is accused of something there is no time to defend it.. It is found guilty of the crime (of being a duplicate in this case) and then no-one ever looks at it again. – baash05 Apr 18 '15 at 11:28
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    Hi @baash05, it's not an accusation. I actually upvoted the qn. It's just that if I were answering your question then I would give the same answer as I did to that other one. Re your update, I understand how you want it to be something special and specific to her. A "daddy-katie" thing. Totally understand. But my answer would still be the same: make it specific to her as a person, to her interests, rather than just her gender. There must be things which interest her but don't interest her brother. The other thing I'd suggest (if her brother wants to come along) is ... – A E Apr 18 '15 at 15:48
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    Please clarify what you mean by "games or things that a boy would do". Clearly, boys play with everything, which would leave your daughter with nothing. I find it very interesting that you consider getting a hair cut and shopping a "boy's" thing, which is the opposite of the stereotype! I'm left more than a little confused by what you're asking for. As A E suggests, you should be paying attention to your daughter's personal interests. – user11394 Apr 18 '15 at 17:50
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    Thanks.. Yeah the "games a boy would do" bit was hard to say.. We've been very carful about no gender bias. The problem is they both love the same activities. They are very close in personality. The nail thing might be the trick because both me and my girl chew our nails. – baash05 Apr 20 '15 at 1:49
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What I like is that you are doing something that has to be done anyway and make it into a "special" daddy-son thing. Just add a little twist to make it special.

So logically, a special daddy-daughter thing should -if I read your question correctly - follow the same pattern, right?

So what else do you do about once a month?

  • Going to the car wash or check oil and tire pressure? (My favourite because it takes about the same amount of time as getting a haircut.)
  • Do some bulk shopping?
  • Home maintenance or repairs? Combined with a trip to the hardware store?

Another idea that combines work and play:

  • Volunteer.
    Pick something that you are good at and take her with you. Choose something that she might enjoy, too, then reward yourselves like your son and you do after the haircut.
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If such an activity existed, you would have found it by now, like you did with your son. You don't need an excuse to spend time with your daughter one-on-one. Just tell the other kids it's her turn, and remind them of when they had their turns.

You don't have to make it elaborate, or even the same thing every time. Just pick something she likes. My eldest daughter likes going on drives, so yesterday I took her on some drive-through errands. My last activity with my youngest daughter was seeing the new Cinderella movie a couple weeks ago.

  • Yeah.. My boy would be very sad if he were left out of the Cinderella event. It has to be a bit of a thing he logically wouldn't be invited for. I don't need an excuse to spend time with her.. I live for it.. but I also live for him and leaving him out has to make sense to him. "Not your turn" makes him sad and that kills me. (I'm a mush in their hands) – baash05 Apr 20 '15 at 2:01
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    But @baash05 what about all the times its been his turn and not hers? Life isn't always fair, we just try to do the best we can. There may be times when one child gets to go out and do something but the other cant and that's just the way it is. (Not trying to have a harsh tone but cant convey that in writing.) If you already have a habit of getting a haircut with him that means there were lots of trips already, that she didn't get to go on. Why then isn't it ok to say, "Sorry dear son, but today is your sisters day. Your day is next Saturday." EVEN if its something he wants to do. – user7678 Apr 20 '15 at 12:55
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My initial reaction was to wonder whether you could work out a way to bring your daughter along on the haircut outing, perhaps have her reading or chatting in a chair while she waits. However, not only patience a challenge for some five year olds, I think it is valuable to have "alone time" with each child.

If your son enjoys his special Daddy outing, your daughter will doubtless enjoy it just as much. I don't have twins, but each of my children likes going on errands with me without the others, whether we're going on a special Just For Them destination or to pick up a loaf of bread for dinner. The particular advantage of an outing for an activity is that the siblings are far removed and can’t possibly interrupt.

You mentioned that you both get a haircut and do some shopping. Consider saving some of those shopping errands for a different weekend, and take your daughter on those. If your son feels hurt that he is left home, explain that you really enjoyed spending a day with him last week and it's Katie's turn to run errands this weekend.

You can also target the shopping in each case -- include a small useful item (book, socks, whatever) that they need. Note that needing that item is important: I am not suggesting that you buy their time and love. Every child needs stuff occasionally, and having a dedicated outing that focuses on the kid's input gives you both quality together time, while helping them feel confident in their opinion and its value.

Your current haircut outings already accomplish this: your son needs to buy a service, so you take him along. Look for a similar opportunity the next time your daughter needs a pair of socks, or is buying a present for a friend’s party, or wants a particular snack -- anything her brother doesn’t really have interest in. For example, my son is the only one in the house besides me who likes a particular kind of dried fruit, and so that’s the outing that he and I tend to take together :)

  • awesome suggestions... The dedicated shopping list might be perfect. She always needs socks... (not sure why but they seem to go missing). – baash05 Apr 20 '15 at 1:55
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be explicit about how much you enjoy your time with him, and explain that it's her turn now.

I like that idea, but I can sympathize with your dilemma, so here's an idea -- how about if you take her to the "beauty parlor" once a month. Now, there's nothing to say you have to have an appointment at the hair salon that often. (Although you can certainly take your daughter for a visit to the salon without any hair cutting taking place -- she could just have her hair braided, for example.) You might just go in and look around, say hello to the friendlier of the people who work there, visit their bathroom, and stop at a playground on the way home.

It might also help if your son had some other special activity happening at the same time -- perhaps an outing or cooking project with your spouse, or a playdate at a friend's house.

Once you've established the routine, hopefully you'll get less questions and push-back. What might help with this is the spin you give the monthly outings with your son. Put a calendar on the wall in the kitchen, for example (if you don't already have one there), and write in "Daddy Simon Day" on the haircut days, and "Daddy Katie Day" on the Katie days. Also, make sure your son understands how much you enjoy BOTH types of outings -- threesome outings, and one-on-one outings. Hopefully this will help him empathize with his sister on the days it's her turn to have you all to herself.

By the way, even though I have two boys, and they're eight years apart, I have faced similar problems! It does require a special sort of tact (gentle white lies, even). So, next time you're sitting on a bench at a playground chatting with other parents of two or more, you can ask them how they negotiate one-on-one time, to collect other ideas.

  • On the same note as the above poster, when you go to the salon you can get what is called "a blowout" and what this means is they wash your hair and then use the blow dryer to style it. No cutting involved and there really cheap. This could be a great activity for your daughter. – user7678 Apr 19 '15 at 12:18

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