The term "quality time" is used often as a way to help you connect with your children and something that is important for them, especially right now. What does the term mean and how can you make sure that it is occurring for you and your children?
Quality time does not need to be complicated and does not mean that you need to make extravagant plans. The most important part is that you are spending time together and you are not distracted with other things. Children are often looking for time and attention from you. It can be fun to do more elaborate plans at times, but this is not the daily goal. Determine what activities your child enjoys and try to create quality time that includes this activity if possible. These could even be simple activities such as reading a book, playing a game, or watching a show or movie. The most important element of quality time is that you are spending time together without distractions.
The other concern that some people have is having enough quality time. While it is beneficial to have every day, it does not need to be for multiple hours every day. Having even 15-20 minutes every day is helpful. This will help your child to understand that you have time for them and want to spend time with them. If something happens and it is not every day, having it several times a week will also be helpful. While it does not need to be multiple hours every day, there are some days that your children may want or need more than others. If they are having a hard day or something seems to be bothering them, having additional quality time will provide the extra support that they need that day.
Are you wondering what activities you can have as quality time? This is really dependent on your child and their preferences and needs. Are they a child who loves to be active? They may prefer to do something that requires more movement such as a walk outside or playing an active game. Are they a child who prefers calmer activities? If this is the case, they may want to cuddle up and read or watch a show. It may also depend on the situation and how the child is feeling in the moment. On different days, children may want to go for a walk or cuddle up and read. Asking your child how they feel and what they want is important. You may think that you know what they want, but often times children know what they want and need.
Remember that when planning quality time with your children that the most important part is the time that you are spending time together. It is not about how extravagant the activities are or how much time you spend planning them. Some may feel that if they have missed out on some of that quality time that having an elaborate plan will make up for the time missed, but it is about the quality of the time spent, not the quantity. Even if you have missed out on time, this does not mean that you can’t start now and help your child understand that you are willing to make that time now.
If you have questions about any of this, please feel free to reach out.