Take this quick quiz!
- What did you pack for your kid’s snack today?
- What test does he/she have at school today?
- Did you send the money for the sports day photograph prints?
Well, were these too obvious to get wrong?! I’m sure you got them all right, even without a second thought!
Now, try this!
- What was the one thing that got your child excited yesterday?
- What was the one thing that he/she said made him/her feel sad and upset?
- What was the topic you discussed while you went for your evening walk together; or, wait, did you have time for an evening walk together at all?
Were you able to answer these questions with the same spontaneity and confidence as you did to the previous set? If not, why? Did you not have the time to talk to your little child along these lines? If your answer to this is YES, then I hear you, loud and clear! You resound every other parent in this fast-paced day and age.
We’re all so caught up in our daily routines. Everything is so fast-paced around us. Nobody stops for us and, nobody is tolerant when we need to stop for a bit. We just keep going with the flow! The saddest truth in all of this is that, while all we hear is the buzz when we listen closely into all of that noise, we hear our children, crying out loud to be heard.
Children love to express themselves and need to know that they are heard. When neither of these is fulfilled for them, they quickly shut everything and everyone out and get into their shell. What can you and I do to ensure that our children are heard? The answer is plain and simple; one that was ingrained in the old books and is making a comeback these days – SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR CHILD!
So, what is quality time?
Cambridge dictionary puts it this way: quality time is
- time that you spend with someone, giving them your full attention because you value the relationship;
- time that you spend giving your full attention to someone or something without having to deal with other things at the same time:
While that is clear enough, allow me to share with you a few insights into why it is so crucial to spend quality time with your child.
- Children long to feel loved and important. This is one of the basic human needs and shapes their sense of self-worth and self-esteem
- Children are incredible imitator Children mirror the ones they watch and spend time with. So, if you find that your child shows traits and behaviour that is not something that you want to see in them, you might want to stop and check if they’ve picked it up by watching you from a distance or if they picked it up from someone or something else that has got their undivided attention.
- Children gain confidence in you. When your child knows that he/she has your undivided attention, he/she begins to understand that you will take the time to hear them out and they begin to share all that that’s on their mind, their thoughts and feelings.
As a parent, when you spend quality time with your child, you also reap benefits that are far-reaching:
- You are able to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Just by spending quality time with your child every day, you will be able to gain insights into your child’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to figure out areas that your child should be encouraged in and areas in which your child needs more of your help and support.
- You develop a stronger bond with your child. This, by far, is the richest reward of spending quality time with your child. When you have been consistent in communicating to your child that you will let go of anything just to get that dedicated time with him/her, you have communicated to your child that you value and cherish him/her so dearly and would not trade that for anything in the world. What bond does not grow deep and strong with that kind of importance?!
Having said all this, what then can you do, amidst your crazy routines to spend quality time with your child each day? Here are some tips:
- Spend tea/snack time together
- Take a walk in the park together
- Play a sport – their favourite sport – together
- Cook or bake together
- Go shopping together
- Do some craft together
- Watch a movie together
- Share family stories of when you were growing up
- Be there for his/her performances
- Work through their weaknesses together
The key lies in TOGETHER! All takes is a few dedicated moments each day to do whatever it is TOGETHER WITH YOUR CHILD.
Children are not particular about what they do with you, all they want is to be able to do something together with you!