Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


In the parenting class I co-teach, we've been talking about connecting with our children, really listening to them, interacting with them, and knowing them.

Sometimes that's hard. Sometimes most of our interactions with them focus on instructions or getting ready to go here or there or dropping off or picking up. Sometimes we're too inward-focused, thinking about the next thing on the schedule or what's for dinner, or who is going to clean up the mess on the floor. Sometimes there are too many people in the room at once, all clamoring to be heard or helped.

The Good Doctor and I have come up with one solution that has worked well for us and that is scheduling one-on-one time with each child. We have taken this a step further and knowing that the best of intentions don't always equal action, we have these dates recorded on the family calendar.  So for example, last week it said, CJ Date, which is King family code for Cindy and Jesse date.  This week it says, DM Date, designating Dad and Mariana as the two to go out together.

Where do we go? What do we do? Well, keeping family finances and schedules in mind, the child is allowed to choose breakfast, lunch, or dessert for that week's date. I can't speak for the Good Doctor, but I make a point of not using my phone during our time together, but instead of asking questions and listening, really listening, to the answers. These are some of my favorite moments of each week.

And that's not just because some of the kids know me so well and choose my favorite ice cream places.


  1. What a beautiful family, & now that I see them, I understand the need for big-time scheduling! Sounds like nice times to be with individuals, just for them and for you!

  2. Sounds like a great plan! What age do you start with? Or is it never too young to go on a date with your child?

    1. Good question. We haven't included the 11 month old yet. Maybe as soon as he can enjoy ice cream with me? :)