23 ideas for spending quality time with your kiddos. Learn ways to spend meaningful time with your children.
The Book The Five Love Languages of Children by Chapman and Campbell discusses five different ways that children feel loved.
Quality Time is the third love language discussed in the book.
All children love attention from parents. Children will do anything they need to in order to get your attention.
To a child, negative attention is better than no attention at all (page 60).
What is Quality Time
Quality time can sound a bit intimidating to some people, but it is really quite simple. Quality time equals undivided attention (page 60).
You don’t have to go somewhere special for it to be “quality” (page 61). Quality can happen right at home.
Quality Time is Important for All Children
As we discuss love languages, it is important to remember that even if a certain love language isn’t your child’s primary love language, you should strive to show love in all areas.
Every child will benefit from one-on-one time with parents.
If you have multiple children this can be a challenge. It isn’t easy to give each child one-on-one time. If you make it a priority, you can do it.
Make a conscious effort to spend time with your children (page 65).
You might even need to write it on your calendar. If that is what it takes to accomplish time with your child, do it! Literally schedule it in to make sure it happens.
Ideas for Quality Time with Your Child
In order to make your time quality, you need to be present. Put your distractions away.
While with your child, be sure you have eye contact (page 62). You might need to put your phone somewhere else. You might need to leave the kitchen so you don’t get distracted by the dirty dishes.
Set yourself up for success by removing your distractions.
>>>Read: 13 Parent Child Date Ideas
Here are some ideas for what to do for quality time:
- Go for a walk together
- Have meals together
- Go camping
- Wash dishes together
- Golf/play catch/or other sports
- Talk with each other: Quality conversation is an important facet to quality time. A great time to do this is at bedtime. When Brayden was little, we would often do this at bedtime. Brayden and I would cuddle on the couch each evening to talk. We talked throughout the day each day, but this was the time of day he would open up to me. This is when I get most information from him. Maybe he was delaying bedtime, but we were both winners. This is STILL the time of day he opens up most.
- Read stories
- Before you start a project, spend 15 minutes with your child
- Take the child with you to run errands
- Have your child help you with chores. This is when a lot of the great conversations will evolve from
- Cook together
- Have one-on-one outings with child–a date night
- Ask open-ended questions (not questions that are answered with yes or no)
- Play with child
- Sing together or do art projects together
- Create special traditions of places you and your child go together
- Go for bike rides
- Make bedtime relaxed and longer
- Help with homework
- Scrapbook or put together photo albums
- Look at old photos and talk about them
Remember, what seems urgent now won’t even matter in the future. What you do with your children now will matter forever (page 65).
Quality Time Can be Simple
Many of the examples of what to do listed above are quite simple.
Always remember, quality time does not need to be fancy. It just needs to be time that you spend focused on your child.
Quality Time Takes TIME
I want to also touch on something I think is important in the quality time issue. In our busy world, the phrase “quality time” gets tossed around often and many parents seem to believe that they can simply give their children 15 minutes of their undivided attention in the evening every once in a while and that will be good enough.
As someone who is a quality time person, let me assure you, it isn’t.
I think if you look at the list of quality ideas here, these aren’t things you schedule for 15 minutes and then walk away.
When my husband gets busy with work and with helping other people with things, he makes an effort to spend about 15 minutes just sitting and talking with me.
It is a nice gesture, but it is not enough for me to really feel that full love. I understand why he is gone, and they are for important reasons, but I feel the most loved when he spends time with me.
I almost think in light of what “quality time” has come to mean in our culture, the “quality time” love language should be changed simply to “time.”
M. Russell Ballard, has said,
“Quality time is a direct function of quantity time–and mothers, to nurture their children properly, must provide both.”
“direct function of quantity time.”
Quantity leads to quality.
This is why things like doing chores together, going for walks together, cooking, gardening, etc. are all powerful tools to accomplish quality time.
These tasks take time. As you spend time together, that quantity time turns into quality.
As you strive for quality time, seek out the activities that provide quantity time. The quality will come from that.
Time builds relationships. Make sure you make time priority.
I will leave you with the quote:
“If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.”Abigail Van Buren
- How To Show Your Child Love Through Physical Touch
- How to Show Your Child Love Through Words of Affirmation
- 3 Ways to Show Your Child Unconditional Love
- Children Need To Feel Loved in Their Own Way
This post originally appeared on this blog September 2010