"Spending quality time with your family is important".
How often have you heard this? I don't know about you, but I see it and hear it all the time. The only thing is, we often forget the most important word in that sentence, QUALITY.
We can spend hours and hours with our family, sitting in the same room at the same time, driving in the car together and even just having dinner together but, the question is, is it quality time?
Spending time with our kids is important but I am a true believer that it is the quality of the time spent with them that is important, not how much time I can spend with them.
Life is busy and for years I beat myself up for the lack of time that I had to spend with the kids. Between work, school, activities and well…life, I would try and make sure that we were together as often as possible. The problem was, we weren’t actually spending time together, if that makes sense.
I’d be on my laptop, catching up on work, one of the kids would be playing with a toy, the other on their phone whilst another was watching something or playing sport or something along those lines. So even though we were together, it was not quality. We were just existing in the same spaces.
So now, rather than beating myself up for the little time we have together, I choose to make the most of the time that we do have.
Since doing this I have found so many reasons why quality time has been more important, and effective, than the amount of time we spend together. So the next time you’re feeling guilty about the lack of time you have with your kids, think of the benefits that the quality time you do spend with them has.
By giving them your undivided attention, you can actively listen to your children. This gives them the opportunity and environment to open up.
I have been guilty of pre-emptively responding to my kids, to get to the point quicker. But by actually stopping and just letting them ramble on, I have found out so much more about my kids and I even find that they are more open to what they tell me.
Teaches your kids how to be a good friend
As we all know, kids don't always do as we say (if only) but rather, they copy what we do. By modelling quality time with your kids, they are more likely to pick this up and do it with other relationships in their life.
It shows them that they matter
It is so sad for me to admit it but, the look on my kids faces when I put everything away and give them all of me (even for a small period of time) is sheer delight. It shows them that in that moment, they are more important than anything else.
Such a small gesture really does go a long way.
Yep, that’s right. The more time you spend together the more likely the fights are, well in our house anyway!
This gives us an opportunity to learn to work through all (LOTS!) those fights and learn how to deal with each other. By working together to overcome the issues teaches them ways to be constructive with their words and how to debate effectively and respectfully.