Quality vs Quantity Time

Earlier today, I told my teenage son that I felt guilty for not been spending enough time with his sister these couple of months. I would be home in most mornings with him than in the afternoon with the sister, as I would either go to the office to do some works or meeting clients. To which he quickly replied, it is fair, because I had been away in most mornings for the first several months this year and now it is his turn to enjoy my company!

I had read books in the past, where they gave different views in respect of quality vs quantity time for children. This issue usually applies to both working parents in the family. Many writers said that it is alright because you can make it up to the children with “quality” time. Most adults would agree when you could differentiate between the two. However, do not be surprised when it comes to children’s perspective, they don’t bother about quality; to them, quantity means quality. In their minds, they are counting the number of hours you spent with them everyday, not how well you plan your time together during those weekends when you are home, or where you take them for holidays once or twice a year.

“Quality time” as defined by my teenage son : as long as I am with him, he feels happy enough, even though I could be in my study doing some paperwork and he, in another room or merely sending him to his co-curricular activities. He told me that he doesn’t necessarily need me to sit with him or do things with him all the time, in order to feel my presence.

When I asked the same question to my tween daughter, she said that she would prefer to have me at home more (the same). Also, she wants me to sit at the same table doing my work while she does her school work. After she has completed her school work, she would like me to go for a walk or to play with her. This is the definition of “quality time” by my daughter.

Two different behaviour but with so much similarity, isn’t it? To sum it up, to children, Quality = Quantity time. So, when some parents said that kids don’t care how high quality time you spend with them, they are right! It’s worth paying attention to it.

I know time is never enough to complete our tasks in a day. Like I used to comment before, “if we can complete everything in a day, with nothing to be carried forward to another day, I guess our purpose on earth has come to an end. There’s nothing for us to look forward to”. There will always be something incomplete for us to continue the next day. Our life activities run on circle. I think the only time everything stops is when our heart stops beating and our brain stops working.

We really have no choice but to make the most out of our time. We need to provide some time for our children in the beginning or at end of our tiring day. Not to worry, once they grow up, they’ll need lesser of your time, if not at all. I feel that it is important to be there for them as they grow up and I’m sure you all know why.

Have a great weekend and chat more with one another face to face, instead of using hi-tech gadgets. My colleague always says, “High Touch is always better than Hi-Tech”. He’s referring to communication amongst human beings – the old fashion way still works better. I concur with his statement.

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