Before i talk about it, here is what i mean by Quality Time.
Quality time is a reference to time spent with loved ones such as spouse, kids, parents, or friends. This time is considered as in some way important, special, productive or profitable. It is time that is set aside for paying full and undivided attention to the person/matter at hand. It may also refer to time spent performing some favored activity (e.g., a hobby). The opportunity to experience quality time, or the actual time available to enjoy quality time is often limited. However, this is outweighed by the importance, intensity or value attached to events or interactions which occur during quality time. Quality time therefore has a degree of emotional or social “quality” which other aspects of personal life may lack.
Why should parents spend Quality Time with kids ?
This seems to be an easy and irrelevant question but it’s not. Many parents “think” and “believe” that they are doing the right things to their kids in terms of spending “Quality Time”. But in the later part of life parents pass on lot of unintended side-effects to kids. Here is what i consider as “Quality Time” events and “Pretend Quality Time” events.
Quality Time Events :
- Parents spend time with kids explaining or teaching ABCs or Numbers.
- Parents play with kids in the parks, take them to their favorite sport be with them during the sport and discuss with the kids what happened during the play. They encourage and motivate kids by explaining them about the strong points and areas of improvements. Kids feel cool about it as they know that parents are with them all the while and parents are watching them.
- Parents involve kids when they are talking about the family, relatives, friends, religion, travel, etc… so that kids are aware of what parents are thinking and how they are reacting to situations.
- Parents involve their kids (passively) when solving problems (except for some very personal problems). This makes kids think and be aware of the situations that they might be in future and how their parents solved them. They would also develop the discretion power when facing such situations in future.
- Parents knows what their kids are eating for meals and Mother takes care of it personally.
- Parents sit with the kids for the homework and help their kids to solve problems.
- Regularly attend the Parents and Teachers meeting and know the progress of your child in the class and school.
Events that looks like quality time but are killers…
- A maid servant takes care of the food and Parents hardly know about the kids food choices.
- Parents asks kids to do their own school work thinking that the kid would grow independently.
- Drop the kids at swimming class and pick him up later when the class finishes. No one knows what happened at class.
- Bring expensive gifts for kids birthday but don’t have time to ask for what kids like as a gift.
- Don’t have time to appreciate the small, cute drawings by kids. They all get stagnated and just be gone into trash one day.
- They want to tell you little cute stories and you done have time to listen to them or their stories seems to be a total crap.
- You take them to wonderful parties and expensive vacations but they seem to be lost with you. Any 3rd person would tell you that there is some gap between you and your kids but you hardly realize it till end.
By now, i hope and guess you know the different events that i categorize as Quality Time and not. When you spend some Quality time with your kids, you should think of it as giving the future. It’s just not the matter of spending “some” time with them but you are really giving them the whole lot of essential qualities of life. By giving the quality time, we are saying that we Love kids, we are saying that we are Always there for you, we are making kids strong and be prepared for the independent life even without us and finally we are teaching them how they should treat their own kids. Small steps in life takes you a long way. Please don’t see the time you spend with kids as just “hours of time”.
In my life, i will never ever forget how my father spent time with me teaching English and Hindi (Indian language), the way he used to play with me at home with those small toys, the way he used to make me sit in his lap and made me read story books. The way my mom treated me with dignity and pride, the way she took care of me in every small way that she could. The way my sisters, played with me, the way they used to offer me the best of food and toys.
Each hour we spend with our kids is the Love that we give them for rest of their life. Remember that these are the small little moments that our kids always remembers. You make history by remembering the most cherished moments and Not by running through events.