The Thing with Quality Time
It's funny how people seem to think that they have spent quality time with their kids after work by bringing them out to the mall for a lifeless and meaningless stroll only to come home with nothing more than a whole bunch of stuff that they (or the kids) don't need. In fact, time has been wasted because kids don't NEED you to bring them out to the shopping mall to waste time. They want and NEED to be with you.
It's really funny because I used to think taking my kids out for a very casual window-shopping trip was meaningful too until someone pointed out to me that my kids were STILL closer to someone else (their daycaregiver) when compared to me. I mean, what is it with kids, anyway? I take them out, don't I? I try my best to give them whatever they want. I buy them presents, don't I? They have more clothes than me, don't they?
But here's the sad part?.that's not quality time.
Quality time with your kids is just staying home with absolutely nothing to do, just lolling around on the carpet watching 'Blue's Clues' or 'Sesame Street' together giving each other nonchalant kisses and exchanging hugs (and repeated reviews about the show). Spending quality time with the kids involve nothing more than just CONNECTING with the kids, not spending detached moments of dis-connectivity loitering through unfamiliar places. It's about spending time connecting with the kids when you KNOW you've GOT SOMETHING ELSE BETTER TO DO.
I spent one whole Friday thinking about what to do with the kids on Saturday and Sunday and end up with nothing. So, on the weekends, we spent hours in front of the TV coloring bananas, gorillas, and calculator on pieces of paper. We, then, took the bicycle to the park and cycled around. Joshua got scrapes on his knees and Jared was more than unhappy with the fact that his big brother made more 'sand castles' in the park than he did - but we all came home knowing that we knew each other better.
You see, spending quality time with the kids is all about getting to know your kids. Making an effort to be there for them when you know you CAN be doing something else with your life. We know we can use that time to actually finish off the report or call that important client up - but the most important thing with quality time with kids is that we DON'T.
© Marsha Maung 2005
Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from home. She designs apparel and premium items at http://www.creativejooz.com and http://www.allmomstuff.com and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at http://www.marshamaung.com
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