The Importance of Quality Time with Children
Updated: Mar 27
Today, we are distracted by many factors that can often take away from the quality and individual time we spend with our friends and family.
Cellphones, tablets, televisions, and gaming systems are a few of the multiple ways that we have access to virtually anything we want to access at our fingertips. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone constantly on their phone, checking emails, scrolling through social media, and you felt dismissed, unheard, and as if your feelings and words didn't even matter.
Technology and distractions affect our marriages, quality time with friends, and even the quality time we experience with our children. For children, stressors that impact quality time could be busy schedules and work. Developing children require the quality time of their caregivers and loved ones to assist with learning languages, making meaningful memories, developing and improving social interactions with others, and developing coping skills and emotion regulation skills needed to manage feelings and emotions positively and appropriately.
We assist our children in developing and creating their internal worldviews through modeling behavior and problem-solving.
So, what is quality time?
Quality time, according to the Oxford languages, is defined as time spent giving another person one's undivided attention to strengthening a relationship, especially with working parents and their child or children. In all The hustle and bustle of life, how do we spend quality time with our children?
Tips for Spending Quality time with your Children
Technology Free Time: Schedule a time in the day to remove all electronics to be present with every family member, including children
Have family dinner every night: Family dinner times are often overlooked and can sometimes be removed due to complicated work schedules or extracurricular activities that get in the way of being able to sit down at the table together. According to Stanford children's medical research, family dinner has been proven to assist with children's development. Stanford Medicine shares that family dinners have been proven to improve The family dynamic, self-esteem, self-confidence, communication, skills, and focus through sitting in one spot for an extended period and modeling positive behaviors.
Storytime: Storytime is another excellent way of building connections through quality time with our children. Storytime with developing children has been proven to assist with literacy, learning new words and sounds, and even receiving individual undivided attention from caregivers who are engaged in storytime, which can be an effective way to tackle development and quality all at the same time.
Parent-Children time/dates: Parent-children time/dates are important for establishing meaningful connections one on one. With children with multiple siblings, receiving individual quality time can be difficult. Scheduling individual quality time with each child can assist with sibling rivalry and negative attention-seeking behaviors.
Tip: For a parent-child time, it is helpful to name the child's name at that time. For example, if your child's name is Sarah, schedule "Sarah time" as your time for that specific child.
Say I Love You: As much as we often know that our children love them, hearing the words and positively expressing your feelings and emotions daily can assist with growth, feeling expression, and understanding of how to communicate effectively for children. Saying, I love you for children means quality time and care.
All in all, creating time for our loved ones, friends, and our families can be very difficult with the busy schedules we experience daily.
Try practicing small ways to include quality time with our families, including our children, even during those hectic schedules.