What is Quality Time?
I recently attended a parenting session by Jim Skinner, the executive director of the Vancouver Adler Centre, where we discussed the important topic of quality time. Initially Jim asked us to chat to the person next to us and share our own personal highlights of quality time that we spent with our parents throughout our childhood. This is a great place to start. Choose one of your favourite childhood quality time memories and create it for your child. For some, it was easier to recall quality time spent with grandparents. It is true that many grandparents have more free time than parents, but as parents, how can we implement memorable quality time on a regular basis?
What is Quality Time?
Quality time is about attunement. Quality time is a strong emotional communicator of love as one gives focussed and undivided attention to the other person. It’s not realistic that all our communications with our children are uninterrupted, focussed and attentive, but if we can make “quality time” happen on a regular basis, this will have very positive effects. As mentioned in my post on sibling rivalry, it is important that when you do the focus the time that it not be interrupted by texting or buzzing.
The art of quality time is finding your joy and sharing it with your children.
If you don’t enjoy arts and crafts but endeavour to create some quality time while doing some arts and crafts, it could become very stressful which would defeat the whole purpose. Brainstorm what brings you joy. It could be reading, baking, sewing, knitting, throwing a baseball, going for a walk, kicking around a soccer ball, hiking, swimming, board games, cards, beach combing, camping etc.
The key is finding something that both you and your child enjoy and then you will both feel happy and connected.
Having Some Behavioural Issues With Your Child?
Increasing the amount of 1:1 quality time you spend with your child will decrease behavioural problems. Everyone needs their “attention cup” to be full and if it’s not filled with positive attention, the next best filler is negative attention. The stronger and closer your connection with your child, the more open communication and influence you will have.
We all strive to have a sense of belonging, and technology nor television have the ability to fill us up with necessary human connection. In counselling, there is specialized form of play therapy called Filial Therapy. In Filial Therapy, parents are trained in the principles of play therapy. They learn how to respond to their child, how to interact with their child in a child-centered way, and how to understand the themes that may emerge in their child’s play. Research has discovered that some of the possible benefits include:
- Children understanding and expressing their own feelings better
- More open communication to tell parents what they need, what is upsetting them
- Increased confidence and skills in solving problems as well as asking for help when they need it
- Less problem behaviours
- Greater feelings of security and trust in parents as the secure base
- Have a more healthy self esteem and increase their self-confidence.
Some of these benefits will also be evident from more regularly scheduled 1:1 quality time. However, if you are interested in more specialized training in Filial Therapy, please let me know via my contact page as I am trained in Filial Therapy.
The parent-child relationship is precious and worth our quality time.
Have a wonderful week sharing what brings you joy with your child,
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