Every parent knows, or will find out, that there can be a surprisingly short interval before your child grows up, develops their own thoughts and opinions and begin to look beyond Mom and Dad for guidance, support, and companionship.
The trick is to find ways to prolong the time you have for as long as possible. With that in mind, you should spend as much quality time with your children as possible at that early stage when you are still at the center of their universe. We all know that devoting time to your children allows you to enjoy and understand your children to the fullest and guide them to be responsible, creative, disciplined, fun-loving little people.
For the children, benefiting from large chunks of Mom and Dad’s undivided and loving attention builds confidence and self-esteem.
But not all ‘quality time’ is created equal.
The highest quality “quality time” in my opinion are activities in which the focus is on each other. The most important part comes when the interaction is direct and personal. The more interplay between parent and child, the better. That means playing catch in the front yard on nice days, and playing board games together on rainy days to give just two quick examples. Talking, listening, and sharing opinions or working on a homework or a puzzle together. Anything in which your action requires your child’s reaction, and the combination of actions and reactions produces a result or an experience worth remembering.
Watching a movie or tv shows together are fine, but in that case you and your child are staring at the flat screen together and the experience is more parallel that interactive. The quality part of movie watching comes after the credits have rolled and there is a discussion afterward.
The quality time you spend now to your children someday will really come in handy.
Sooner or later, something will happen and you in your role as parent will have to enforce an unpopular parental edict or dole out advice that runs contrary to your child’s desires. You will need to spend some of the goodwill you built up earlier to ensure that your parental responsibilities are fulfilled with minimal damage to your parent-child relationship.
Kids are a lot more likely to listen and accept advice from parents who have been putting in the time all along.