Families comes in all different shapes, and sizes; nevertheless, the expectations of each family are always the same — to raise a happy and well-rounded child who knows they are loved and feels secure. Although the pressures of life combined with the responsibilities of being a parent can sometimes weigh you down, it’s very important to find a medium that will facilitate quality time spent with your family. Note I said quality and not quantity. While both are essential, I strongly believe that quality is far more beneficial as it aids with strengthening and improving the family relationship. In addition, a child needs someone they can emulate and look up too. There isn’t anyone more suitable for that role than a parent who plays an active part in their child’s life.
Now, when I say quality time I’m not referring to after school activities, overseeing homework, reading a bedtime story, trips to the supermarket, or the occasional play date drop off. While these are important and should not be fringed upon, they fall under the category of quantity time. Although they are time spent with your child and you are partaking in their everyday social life, the time spent is more of a routine responsibility as it needs to be done and you are responsible for making it happen. However, I believe quality time, is not time demanded upon you because it falls under your responsibility as a parent, but meaningful structured time set aside to spend one and one with your child.
Quality time is more of a consistent but personal time spent together; you can also refer to it as an intimate time spent together, bonding, and having meaningful discussions about what’s going on with your child. Quality time is spending time having fun, laughing, eating, going out for breakfast, assisting your child with a big project not because you have too, but because it is what you both look forward to. Some families select a day in the week and reserve that time to do fun activities together. While other families may do a special mommy/daddy and me time where the child spends quality time with each parent alone once or perhaps twice a month.
Spending sufficient quality time together is mutually beneficial to both the parent and the child. Children strive better when they know that they are loved and when they can rely on you to show up and be there for them, especially when there is a time constraint due to a parent busy lifestyles. More, than likely a child who lack that special bond with their parent or feel insecure, most often display behavioral and emotional problems at home, social gatherings, and time spent with other family members and friends. However, this is not essentially the same with all children as everyone deals with things differently. Also, an older child may not necessarily seek or need as much time with their parents as a younger child who rely and need that continual support from them.
Now that I have spent some time differentiating between Quality and Quantity time I have put together a list of Family Time Fun Activities.
QUALITY TIME FAMILY ACTIVITIES
- Eating dinner together is a great way to spend some quality time, talking about your day or planning your next activity. Here’s a great book for you to read – The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David (Author), Kirstin Uhrenholdt (Author), Maryellen Baker
- Go on a family vacation; you should have an opened discussion with your family about where you would like to go on your vacation and chose a destination that everyone would love and appreciate. Here’s a link that can provide some travel tips from real parents http://www.minitime.com/author/the_MiniTime_Community
- Creating family traditions is a great way to spend quality time together. Some family traditions that will keep the family engaged can be as simple as a family hand shake, family prayer, bedtime story, a family motto or even a family evening walk. Be creative as you think about what family tradition you would like to have with your family.
- Creating a family scrapbook or making a family garden are great ways for you and your child to spend quality time together.
- It is said that volunteering can increase happiness, decrease depression and help you live longer. Choosing a special charity or organization to volunteer your service as a family would be ideal. In addition to spending quality time together as a family, you will also feel empowered in a positive way as the time spent together is creating meaningful memories.
- Create a family fun filled night by choosing a day each month to do a special Movie night, Game night, Bowling night, or Cherokee night, etc. with your family.
- Spending time reading to or with your child is also a great way to bond. Enroll your child (and yourself) to the local library, or find a local bookstore and make it one of your favorite place to go. Maybe, on a Saturday morning, spend time reading new books and learning new things together.
I hope that my blog post gave you an insight on quality time vs. quantity time spent with family. Additionally, I hope you can find some fun family activities to try each month from the list I’ve suggested.