Brain Snacks: Quality Time

Brain Snacks: Quality Time

Have you ever found your child looking for you every few minutes to play with them? Have you ever had your child follow you around wherever you go, despite your obviously busy schedule, and then suddenly, they come towards you with a bear hug or play around with your work-from-home equipment? These may be signs that your child’s love language is Quality Time.

“For years we have heard people talking about the need to give children “quality time,” especially amidst the busyness of today’s culture. And yet, while more people are talking about quality time, many children are starving for it.”

Chapman, 2012

Quality Time in a Nutshell

We often associate Quality Time with fun activities, bonding moments, and playful experiences. These are all correct. In fact, the love language of Quality Time means spending meaningful moments with your child. It is when both of you capture and enjoy the present and sweet bonding time regardless of its spontaneity. Having quality time needs to be a distraction-free and intimate experience for both the parents and the child–think of it as having a date with your child!

Quality Time, but I do not have the time

Parents of children with quality time as their love language may find spending time with their children taxing, yet rewarding. However, as the child grows older and the parents grow busier (especially with the current global situation), having quality time may prove to be difficult to achieve. The National Association for the Education of Young Children recognizes that quality time becomes hard to attain when you are to balance your work responsibilities with different life activities. Parents sometimes encounter conflicts such as worrying about whether they have given enough attention to their child while working full-time or agonizing about whether they are to choose time for themselves over staying with their children.  Some parents might think to just compensate with other forms of affection, but nothing beats a parents’ gift of presence to a child who has quality time as their love language. We can consider it as our way of telling our children that they are important and we enjoy spending time with them. 

Quality time with your child can be short but sweet! You can even let them help you with house chores as long as you do it together. Doing laundry may become a fun task if you include your child in the process! After all, quality time does not have “quantity” in its name, does it?

Qualities of Quality Time

You may consider these factors when planning activities for your quality time with your child, whether it is something short but sweet or long yet worthwhile:

  • Focus on doing things together and being together, and not on the event itself. You may plan simple activities wherein both you and your child are engaged such as playing with toys together. It does not need to be an extravagant event.
  • Let your child feel the love with eye contact, especially when they are telling you something. Loving eye contact is not only given when your child pleases you!
  • Meaningful conversations help in knowing each other better.
  • Freedom of talking about random things helps you form an environment where you can also talk about intimate and important matters.

Quality Time Activities

You may have quality time with your children by:

  • Reading story books with them
  • Playing with them without the distraction of work or your smartphone!
  • Occasional night-outs or family nights
  • Include them in daily activities and chores
  • Make eye contact when conversing with your child
  • Watch your child’s favorite show together as long as it is within the 1-hour recommended daily screen time.
  • Make Photo Albums together.

References:

Alvarado, J. (n.d.).  Tips for Spending Quality Time With Your Child. From https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/spending-quality-time-with-your-child

Chapman, G. D., & Campbell, R. (2012). The 5 love languages of children: The secret to loving children effectively.