THE DIFFERENECE BETWEEN QUALITY AND QUANTITY TIME
Children’s most important early relationships are with parents. These relationships affect all areas of children’s development. Parents these days often get themselves in a dilemma over how much time to spend they should spend with their children because of their busy schedule. In parenting terms, time can be broken down into two: quantity time and quality time.
Quantity time refers to the amount of time a parent is physically present with his or her child. But what constitutes being physically present? Think of the following situations: is it quantity time when parents watch TV while their child plays on the carpet beside them? Is it quantity time when you are playing games with your child, but your mind is far away thinking of emails and deadlines?
Quality time refers to the standard or caliber of the time you spend with your child. It means you are focused, intentional, and engaged with your child. Your attention is directed at your child and what they are doing. It makes sense then that one hour of quality time is better for a child than four hours of watching TV together. Yes, it is true but from the perspective of the children, it is the time that matters; not the quality. Children don’t speak in terms of quality time; they speak in terms of quantity time. Children want to hang out with their parents. They want to do things or just be near the parents. They want to feel or know that their parents are physically nearby. They measure their own significance and self-worth based on the amount of time their parents devote to them. While children also want undivided attention from their parents, they first think in terms of total time. And the more time spent together, the greater the opportunity there is for these quality moments to occur which will eventually help foster a better relationship with your child.
Being in the moment is about tuning in and thinking about what’s going on with your child. It shows your child that you care about the things that matter to him, which is the basis for a strong relationship. Interestingly, it turns out that the even if it is to be in silence, it is a good idea for families to eat as many meals together as possible, undistracted by electronic gadgets. The more meals a family sits down together, the better the outcome for the kids mentally, emotionally, and intellectually. Quality time can happen anytime and anywhere, in the middle of ordinary days and situations. It can be a shared laugh when you’re bathing your toddler or having a good conversation in the car with your teenage child. When you spend quality time with your child, you’re showing that you value and appreciate her. Children have different personalities, and some children might seem to need less time than others – but they’ll all benefit from special time with you.
Positive parent-child relationships are important for all areas of children’s development. By being in the moment, spending quality time and showing warmth, care and respect, you can strengthen your relationship with