There is the old saying that can be applied to most aspects of life: ‘quality not quantity’. It is easy to mistake the two especially when it comes to parenting. Getting the balance right is something that all parents struggle with. We previously wrote an article on parents expecting too much from their children academically. As we pointed out, it is not wrong to want your child to succeed at school, but it is finding that balance to ensure your child doesn’t become stressed or bored. This same balance can be applied to quality family time.
The Washington Post wrote an article on quality vs. quantity in terms of time spent with children. They put forward the argument that it doesn’t matter how long you spend with your children as long as the time is positive. They go on to report how studies have shown that spending long periods of time with your children while stressed or sleep deprived is much more harmful to your children’s upbringing than only spending a few minutes of good engagement with them.
Finding the time can be hard and frustrating. Parents need to work in order to support their families but this shouldn’t mean that you sacrifice your family time. There has been a big shift in parents putting their children in childcare for extended periods during the week. Research has shown that young children don’t always cope well with such long days out of the home. If it is unavoidable not to put your children in childcare during the weekdays this makes the weekends all the more important.
There are many activities that can ensure parents and their children spend quality time together. One example of this is gardening. Children love to imitate their parents at a young age and encouraging them to help you is a great way to spend time together. Children’s clothing brand Tootsa interviewed a parent and gardener on spending time with her children in the garden. She had this to say: “Children love looking, exploring and collecting… the main rule is don’t be too precious, experiment and have fun.” Combining activities such as gardening with fun can be both exciting and educational for your children. As a parent it gives you a chance to teach your child about skills you know.
Eating together as a family as often as possible and not just on the weekend is a great way to spend quality time with your children. Kids Health believes that the biggest benefit of quality family time at the dinner table is that it gives you a chance to connect. How often do you have the time to have a conversation with your children, and how often do your children want to talk to you when they are playing? Eating together, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, gives you a natural environment to discuss things as a family. It is also important to turn off distractions like the television in the kitchen. For both the adults and children!
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Note: Heartfelt Thanks to our Guest blogger for this wonderful article. Blogging truly connects bloggers wherever in the world they are! 🙂 🙂