Spending quality time with your child
Created by Dr.Sonali Bassi Updated on Dec 08, 2019
Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow, says Thomas Bray.
As a working mother, I go through turmoil of not spending enough time with my son everyday. I miss being with my child many a times during the day. Sometimes when I am driving back from work and heading home, my mind is constantly working on the numerous chores that await me at home and how I need to get through with them in order to end my day at last. These are mostly the daily routine challenges of the day like bath time for the little one, family meals on time and making sure my child sleeps on time in order to wake up in time for school. In the end, I have just enough energy left to drag myself to bed so that I can wake up early and start the routine all over again. When I sit down to think each day seems to pass so quickly. My son is growing everyday, he is achieving new milestones each day, but the challenges of juggling adult lives often prevent us from fully appreciating those precious moments of childhood.
The simple truth that applies to any parenting philosophy-Our children need to spend meaningful time with us.
Spending quality time does not mean watching television together, checking up on them once or twice during the day by telephone or being in the same room with them but still doing your own thing.
It means spending time that is full of happiness, excitement, fun while at the same time understanding the emotional and personal development of the child. Lets just agree that there is no such thing as a Perfect Parent and most of us learn on the job, sometimes even making mistakes and learning from them.
Time is the most precious thing that we should be able to give our children both in quality as well as quantity. Our lives are so busy at times that we promise our children, we will spend time with them, but after we finish 'this and that' more often than not… the list of “this and that” never ends. It seems spending 'quality time 'is just another chore like doing the laundry or balancing the checkbook. Sad but true! We can make sure that we are spending some quality time with are children by making a conscious effort at it.
Great ways for moms and dads to get together with their children for a positive outcome:
1) Mealtime: Mealtime is a good bonding time. It is the end of the day and everyone is relaxed, the list of chores is either done or has reached a stage that it can be tackled the next day, this is the time when as a parent we could discuss our day and enquire about our child’s day. We can ponder, revel and give advice on the big and small successes and struggles. We can share a joke and have a hearty laugh together, even if it is not funny… after all its FAMILY TIME.
2) Outings together: It's not about spending money always. One could go out with the kids to a park and play outdoor games. Its great fun when we go, we make sure that it is a picnic of sorts where we take our packed food and other goodies and the children can enjoy their favorite games be it cricket or football.
3) After Dinner Walks: Taking a short walk after dinner also falls under quality and interactive time with your child. In the quiet of the night when I walk with my child and listen to his innocent chitter chatter it literally is like music to my ears. At that time I am a part of his imaginative and magical world. Children are very perceptive and can distinguish between genuine affection and forced time together, for the sake of spending time. The least we could do is be honest with them.
4) Reading together: Reading books is also a great experience that may be done with your child. When my son and I read together I realize how far and diverse his imagination has become. Sometimes he amazes me just by sharing the thoughts and ideas he carries with him.
5) Doing a fun chore together: For most parents it is nice to encourage their little ones to help them wash the car or run small errands for the house. Children love helping out as it gives them a sense of responsibility and respect. Just a day before Diwali my son helped us out with the rangoli and decorating the whole house. All of us were busy with our share of making the house look more beautiful and festive and in the end we all were appreciative of the effort that each one of us had put in Individually.
6) Helping them with the schoolwork: Setting time aside to help our children out with their homework is also very important. This is, that time of the day when you may fully understand what challenges your child might be facing academically. When my son is faced with a problem that he is not able to find a solution, we usually go at it together. Even if I know the answer, we try to get to the answer together. Most of the times I have realized when I have just given him the answer he is happy but not excited. He gets really excited when we solve the problem together and it also creates a stronger bond between us.
We as parents should not compensate our lack of time for our children by indulging them with new toys or gifts just as a distraction. We need to learn to be active listeners with our children because they then feel; heard and understood. We need to encourage them to ask questions and always answer them honestly making sure that their curiosity is clarified in a constructive way. Always make them feel loved and never forget to give them their extra share of hugs and kisses. They surely deserve it all!!!!!
It should be our endeavor as parents to give our child a happy childhood. The child has a right to our time, our love and our affection. As our children grow into adults they should be able to look at their childhood as happy times, times full with love, affection and understanding and this in turn will provide a strong foundation in their lives to be great parents themselves.
"Why try and perfect our child instead let us try and perfect our relationship with them"
- Dr Henker
Image source - Parentune archives
| Dec 28, 2012
Beautifully written article and being a mother can really relate and appreciate the thoughts expressed. When my daughter was only 1 day old, her pediatrician told me about EQ ( Emotional Quotient) of the children and how its special for them n us as parents, so be close with your kids... so that they can trust you. No doubts they love us bu the bond should be very strong.
| Dec 31, 2012
Wonderfully written - the dilemma faced by most working parents. After dinner walks is a great way to bond, tried and tested. Also agree with Dr. Bassi's thought that toys and expensive gifts cannot compensate for lack of quality time... that's what creates lasting memories for children..
| Dec 31, 2012
Absolutely agree, we do not always need to spend money to create happy memories. Recently we had a family picnic at Lodhi Gardens. The kids and the adults got together and we had the most wonderful time. And we also resolved to do this more often... Kids simply want to hang out with family and friends and it seems they would prefer the outdoors any day...
| Feb 11, 2013
thanks for sharing this article, i send my son for tutions but i make sure he does his school homework with me only. We spend time talking on bed before we sleep and pray together. We giggle and talk alot and play together before we sleep every day. Going for a walk after dinner is a good idea.