How Much Quality Time is Your Family Spending Together?
Popular parenting tips often tell us to focus on quality time with your kids.
Do the best with the time you have.
And I agree.
To a certain extent.
The moments we spend with our kids should be quality moments
Not because we have a special day planned or we’ve spent oodles of money.
But because moments with our children are fleeting.
Almost All Moments Should be Quality Time
We only get 18 summers…on average.
Then those little feet grow up and walk out the door.
And we hold on to the lasts of parenting.
But if you want to give your kids the best childhood possible, aim for quantity.
And working in quantity moments maybe easier than you think!
Many times we appease our busy-parent consciences with statements like:
“I am a busy parent, but I love my kids.”
“I give them what I can. I give them quality time.”
According to recent research and studies, the average American family spends 37 minutes of “quality” time together daily.
Shocking, isn’t it?
This “quality” time does not include telling kids to get a shower, changing their diapers, turning on a movie for them to watch while the parent cooks, etc.
This is one-on-one time where affection and interaction is shared between parent and child.
Many parents believe they have to choose between quantity and quality.
Why Not give Kids Quality and Quantity Time?
When you go to an upscale restaurant and order the best steak on the menu, what do you want?
You want quality and quantity.
You do not want the waiter to serve you with one tiny bite of the tender, juicy meat.
You want the whole piece!
Why would think our children only desire tiny fragments of our time?
Not only do our kids want huge chunks of our time, but they need it!
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health conducted a survey of 90,000 seventh through twelfth graders.
The answers given revealed that kids with strong emotional attachments to their parents and teachers are much less likely to use drugs and alcohol, attempt suicide, or engage in violent behavior.
Children that do not find love, joy, attention, and affection at home are more likely to turn to the above activities or objects in order to obtain a superficial taste of gratitude, affection and satisfaction that they did not find at home.
Harsh, yet undeniably true.
According to the same above study, 52 percent of parents admit they don’t spend enough quality time with their children, and 57 percent of children believe their parents are more concerned about their work-life than their own children.
If Quality Time with Family is So Important, How Can We Make it Work in a Busy Family?
So glad you asked!
Here are some doable ways you can give bigger chunks of time to your kids.
Create a Family Night.
Pick a night that suits your family.
Friday night is a popular one for many families.
Set this time aside just for the family.
No work, no homework, no cleaning — just family fun time!
Think of an activity during the week for your entire family to participate in on this special day.
A board game or other game, a favorite movie, a dress-up contest, an impromptu puppet show, ice-skating, basketball, s’mores over a campfire or whatever makes your kids smile.
End the fun evening with a slumber party in Dad and Mom’s room.
The kids will look forward to family night every week!
Oh yeah, and no bedtimes are allowed!
Recruit a helper.
During the week, assign one kid per night to help you cook dinner.
Your child will be learning and you can discuss all the happenings of the day together.
Eat at least one meal a day together.
If dinner is too busy a time to sit down to a meal together, get up early and enjoy a hot breakfast together.
Mealtime allows everyone to sit down and talk over one of their favorite activities — eating!
Establish a bedtime routine.
Every night schedule time with each child.
Read each one a book and give each one a hug and kiss before bed.
Kids need to be reassured of their parent’s love on a consistent basis.
Try to squeeze as many cuddles into one day as possible!
Enjoy the little treasures God has given you.
Don’t rush the moments you have to spend taking care of them.
Take time to count their toes, tickle their bellies and listen to their questions.
Give your child quality and quantity time today and every day.