“ A child is going to remember who was there, not what you spent on them. Kids outgrow a toy and outfits, but they never outgrow time and love” - The Working Woman.
That is not saying kids don’t like toys and such, but more importantly what they seek is better achieved in memories and what is held close to them in their hearts and minds. It has always been about the QUALITY of the time spent. Your presence is invaluable than anything else in the world of the child.
"Quality time" is described as time that you spend with friends, family members or anyone in your social circle. It's time that you spend doing things together, like talking, playing sports together, or going out somewhere together.
One of the easiest ways to make more time for loved ones is turning off the TV. The average amount of time that both parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children is 39 minutes a week. It is pretty obvious what the choice is if you need to spend more time with your spouse and your kids. Instead of watching TV, reading together, playing board games together, taking nature or park walks together, or just sitting and talking face to face.
Realizing this, this is why we have to prioritize spending quality time with the children in our lives. By doing so it:
1.Builds children’s self-esteem
Children who spend time with their parents participating in activities together, builds a positive sense of esteem and self-worth,making them feel valued by their parents, they feel more positive about themselves and feeling worthy. Family activities don’t have to be expensive trips to be meaningful. It is more about being together. You could go for a bike ride or play a game together and that would be enough.
When children feel heard and seen by their parents, or any adult in their lives for that matter, it unconsciously builds on their esteem and confidence, sense of worthiness. Hopefully this too can lead to having the right emotional coping skills to be able to make “the right life decisions” when the hard ones do come, as it always does in life.
2.Strengthens family bonds
Families who share everyday activities together i.e hobbies, sports, books, movies, form strong, emotional ties. Studies have shown that families who enjoy group activities together share a stronger emotional bond as well as an ability to adapt well to situations as a family.
3. Develops positive behaviors
Children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behaviour. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.
Children who frequently eat with their families also usually have improved dietary intake compared to those who don’t eat as often with family members.
4. Encourages communication
When you spend time with your children you are cultivating an environment for open communication. You are really listening to each other. Listening with no judgement. Good communication is important for children to feel safe and comfortable with talking and confiding in you about anything.
5. Help a child’s academic performance
Spending time helping your children with schoolwork or reading together, especially in their early years, fosters an environment that values academics. If your child feels comfortable coming to you with schoolwork, they are more likely to perform better academically.
6. Help your children learn about friendship, connection, communication
Children learn by example. If you are setting a good example for them by spending quality time together, they are more likely to apply those behaviors in other relationships in their lives. Simple things like playing games together will help them understand more about interacting with others as well as teach them things like sharing and kindness.
More importantly, family time means you can just have fun and enjoy each other’s company. You develop understanding of each other and that in itself will lead to better communication.
Those are part of the pillars of Emotional Intelligence and building it is a process, that is what we have to remember. It just does not simply happen.
Comment below on your thoughts about quality time and prioritizing it with your family. How do you do it? What are the challenges that you feel and how can it be overcome? We love to hear from you.