Spending quality time

What is Quality Time?

The phrase “quality time with your kids” is often tossed about but what does it really mean? Quality time does not have to involve huge vacations to Disney World. Quality time can be something as simple as a nice breakfast before work/school.  The key elements of quality time with kids are: full attention, full involvement and full commitment. 

  • Full Attention – If you are serious about spending as much quality time with your child as possible, you must understand that quality time involves any amount of time with your child where you are giving your full attention to your child and your child is giving his full attention to you. In a world of distractions, this is often easier said that done. One way to regularly find time where you can give your full attention is to set up “no gadget” hours in your home. For example, have everyone put their cellphones, tablets, video games in a cabinet or basket from 6:00 – 8:00 pm each night. This allows you to spend time together making and eating dinner and actually talking to each other.
  • Full Involvement – Quality time requires you to relax and let your guard down a bit. Many activities with children demand that you be willing to look ridiculous and that you be willing to laugh at yourself. Going to the playground with your child is not quality time if you simply sit on a bench and send text messages. Instead, be willing to go down the slide or to sing with your child as you push them on the swings. If you’re reading a book together go ahead and make up funny voices and add some sound effects. The voices don’t have to be good – your child will appreciate anything you come up with.
  • Full Commitment – While there will be times when you must cancel an activity you have planned with your child, you don’t want to make it a habit. If you regularly bow out of family dinners or trips to the park, your child will soon get the message that your work, your computer or your friends are more important to you than he is. When you truly do have to miss something your child has been looking forward to, offer a sincere apology and take time to explain to him why you had to be absent as soon as possible.

Quality time can be found just about anywhere if you’re willing to grab it. When the opportunity arises for you to spend time with your child, put aside distractions and really spend time with him. Not only will you form a closer bond you are showing your child how to live a balanced life with your priorities in the right place.

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In Empowerment,

Barb, LMHC, CPC, Ed.M, CAS  

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