Life is sometimes difficult because of stress at work, endless working times, the responsibilities at home and the needs of children. It can sometimes be difficult for you to say, "Have a good time with your kids". It's not impossible, and not as hard as you might think. However, it is an important aspect of family life. We need to better understand what the concept of "Quality Time" is, what it does and how we can achieve it.
Quality time is time when you are interested in only on your kids and meet your kids' emotional needs. You do not need to have an educational activity or social activity like going out to a cinema, theatre to spend quality time. Moreover, even ordinary things you do every day at home can be considered to be quality time. For example, you can have quality time by organising cabinets, cooking, play games, gardening, and ride a bike. The important thing is how you do it rather than what you do: to give importance to your kid and his/her emotions and needs.
Children, who have quality time with their parents, feel as if they are important. Parents observe their children and explore their strengths, and support their needs accordingly. Therefore, children have an opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts to their parents. There occurs a strong relation between children and their parents. Many studies prove that children, who are not sufficiently and properly cared by their parents, experience behavioural and emotional problems. In short, spending quality time with children is a key to successful parenting.
While it is so important to spend quality of time with your children, let's take a look at how you can achieve this with minor changes to your daily life.
1. One to one spending time
It is very nice to do something as a family. However, every child needs to have special moments with mum and dad separately. For example, let’s assume that you are a family with two children. One child could spend time with mum and the other with dad (and vice versa the next time). Focus on your child and consider their interests and needs. As a result, the time spent together would be very constructive and have a purpose.
2. Pay attention to your child’s daily routine
Observe daily routines of your children, such as sleeping, eating, bathing, etc. Consider this as having a quality time, rather than a repetitive task. For example, try to gather with the all members of family at meal times. Set up the table and eat together. Have a chat with your child. Encourage them to express their feelings and ideas. Remember that the communication you have with your child affects their health, self-confidence, awareness, as well as how much they eat during dinner time.
3. Prepare short and simple routines you can do every day
Prepare some routines which you and your child can enjoy each day. Read a book, making sure to get your child to choose the book before bedtime. After dinner, choose a game your children likes, for example a puzzle. Doing something every day even for a short period of time (e.g. 15 minutes) will enable you to create special moments for you to cherish with your children, and more importantly make them feel safe, sound and secure.
4. Stay away from technology
Whatever you do, stay away from technology when you are interested in your children. Spend half an hour with your child instead of two hours using a phone.
5. Playing games
You don’t need to have colourful toys or playgrounds to play with your children. Everything you do could potentially turn into a game. Hand yourself over to your child if your not creative enough. They will always find a game using their wide imagination. It will be good for both you and your child to focus your attention to each other, even if it is for a short period. Don’t you think it’s worth it?
1) Spending quality family time together is very important, Michigan State University
2) Importance of Family Time on Kids Mental Health and Adjustment to Life, Child Development Institute.