Cultivating Quality Time with Children
This week I shared a parenting tip on social media that I think is so vital to our connections with humans, but especially vital to parent-child relationships.
Life is so busy for everyone, and time is one of our most valuable resources. But at the end of the day, children who are not getting quality time with their grownups are likely to seek out other ways to get attention, which often leads to misbehavior. By creating time for your child you are telling your child that you see them and that they matter. It’s not about spending hours upon hours taking them to do extravagant activities or about spending a ton of money on outings together, but it is about making an effort to connect with your child.
‘DOTS’ is a helpful acronym to help you remember the key points of quality time:
Designated time doesn’t necessarily have to be time that is scheduled out or quality time that is planned for (although that counts too), but more so time that is intentional about connecting with your child.
Have individualized time. This may be harder for families with more than one child but it is important for children to feel connected and have a connection with each of their grown ups. Sometimes when children have to share their grown ups with siblings that connection can be interrupted or worn down. In homes with multiple children and multiple adults, you can have a rotation with your partner so that each of you is getting to have one-on-one time with each child.
This one is a no brainer. But technology is one of the biggest distractions we have (both children and adults) so turn off the tvs, tablets, and smartphones, and spend time interacting distraction free.
Quality time should bring smiles to both you and your child. Do something that you both enjoy doing or try something new together; whatever you do, set your worries aside and enjoy your time together.
‘DOTS’ may not realistically be something you can incorporate into your routine every day, but hopefully this tool can help guide you into incorporating pieces into your daily lives, and increasing your quality time together. Children who have consistent quality time with their parents are more likely to have healthy self-esteem, increased confidence, and are more likely to reach out to parents for help when they need it.