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What is "Quality Time" with Our Kids?

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What is "Quality Time" with Our Kids?
All time with your kids is not created equal. Make it count!
By Clinical Nurse Specialist Anna Katzman for GalTime
ways to spend quality time with your kids

 

Here’s our chance.  It’s nearing summertime.  The days are longer and our kids are freer.

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I’m excited with the anticipation of getting into the purple-clip-on-hair-extensions-covered head of my ‘tween daughter and hearing what comes out of the blue braces-bejeweled mouth of my pre-teen son.  

I have been busily studying up on their slang, (“Sick!” I know – I’m so “G!”), so that when that magical hiatus from school mornings arrives, I will finally be able to morph from a human megaphone into a person that has more to say to my kids than, “It’s 7:45!  Out the door!”

Related: Are Your Kids Ready for Sleep-Away Camp?

One of summer’s many gifts is the chance to spend more time with our kids. From late June until September, time – or more time, for that matter – is finally on our side.

Or is it? When it comes to making the most of our time with our kids, is quantity the answer?

Experts – and our own kids – say no. When it comes to spending time with our kids, quality is key.

What exactly constitutes quality time with our kids?  The answers may surprise you…

Here’s what we believe: Parents generally believe that any time we spend with our kids is meaningful, no matter what we’re doing together.  

According to the National KidsDay Meaningful Time Survey, while fathers and mothers differ about what’s most meaningful, (fathers spend more time engaging in athletic activities or events with their children and mothers spend more time engaging in unstructured interaction), most parents (62%) consider doing instructional activities with our kids to be meaningful time.

No matter what the activity, when spending time with our children, we parents seek to enrich our parenting experience.

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Here’s what our kids think (according to the survey):  Our kids do not agree that any time we spend with them is meaningful.

Our children view time spent doing fun activities with us (49% vs. 35%) as most meaningful.  

When asked, “What do you consider the best meaningful time spent with your parents?" kids have chosen “talking about my day”and watching t.v. together.

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