by Mary Segers

Stressor #7: Spending Quality Time with Kids

How/Why It Stresses You

A child who’s not getting enough attention takes up far more attention than what you’d just give them

I don’t think there’s a parent alive who doesn’t know this universal truth. Spending time with kids should be right after spending time with your spouse. That’s because (1) a healthy marriage is without argument much healthier for kids and (2) God ordained that the marriage is of higher importance—right after spending time with Him.

Nurtured kids require less attention

Much of our self-identity is wrapped up in our role as a parent

For instance, I spent many years as a “soccer mom.” And that was quality time to Harm. I never learned a single rule but I was always there watching her and she knew it. It was the same thing for the boys and their sports and drama and Nyk and her weightlifting and band.

I will always remember that we had a dining room table and if I sat down it wouldn’t be long before a kid would come over and sit and we’d start talking. Pretty soon another would join in and another until all the kids were sitting around the table with me talking. I miss those days.

Regardless of modern-day psychology . . . we feel responsible for how our kids turn out

And, to some extent, how they turn out may have some correlation with how much time we were able to devote to parenting. At least that’s how we think of it retroactively.

Solutions to Spending Quality Time with Kids

Have them take some of the pressure off of you then reinvest that time into THEM

Kids can help out with chores, by doing their own laundry, and by helping cook. These are all lifetime skills they’re going to have to learn anyway, so why not now when it can help you too?

When they save you time by doing something you would otherwise have to do, you can reward their effort by spending some of it on them. For instance, when the kids would handle the daily chores it freed up my time to go to all their plays, games, meets, performances, etc.

Make a list of things they want to do and classify them by time needed

For instance, if they really want to go to the beach and you need help cleaning on Saturday morning then you’ll both win because with the time they save you by helping out you can spend it on them at the beach.

You can make a list of things they’d like to do and order it by time required. For example, a movie is about 2 and a half hours long whereas a sunset walk is maybe 30 minutes. A mall trip may be half a day, but a trip to the park could be only an hour.

Then when you have the time available you could let them know you have 2 hours and let them pick which activity they’d like to do. Make sure they know you have the time because they helped you make it.

Remember that quality time DOES NOT equal quantity

For many years on Friday night the kids alternated being able to pick out a movie, snack, and . . . I believe . . . what we had for dinner that night.

For them it was a big deal

When I was in college and grad school, right after finals each semester I’d take the kids out to Sonic. That was a treat we all could count on.

More time could equal trips to the beach and Books-A-Million… just to name a few.

Just last week I took my 4 oldest grandkids to the movies.

Remember that quantity time DOES NOT equal quality

For a short time Harm, and I got into the habit of just sitting on the porch wasting time. We weren’t doing anything, weren’t really even talking to each other. We were just playing on our phones.

That was kind of disconcerting when I realized how mindless we were being and how, if I sat down and made a schedule, doing that would never be intentionally planned.

Life Application For Spending Quality Time with Kids

Have them take some of the pressure off of you then reinvest that time into THEM

Make a list of chores that your child can help with and let them know that they can expect more of your time in exchange. Then make sure they actually do benefit.

Make a list of things they want to do and classify them by time needed

Have them make a list of things they’d like to do with you and be prepared to be surprised. My tomboyish 19 year old who has a serious disdain for dresses loves to attend Fred Astair’s (Dance Studio) open night and wear appropriate dresses and high heels.

Her other activities would include going to see a movie, walking around in Pier Park, going to the mall, and going to the beach.

Remember that quality time DOES NOT equal quantity and vice versa

Be sure to focus more on quality time not quantity.

Stressor #7: Spending Quality Time with Kids
Stressor #7: Spending Quality Time with Your Kids

This has been an excerpt of my book Focus on Feeling Blessed Not Stressed: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Home Time Management.

If you want more excerpts simply go to the main page titled Focus on Feeling Blessed and on that page you’ll find a list of links to more excerpts as I post them or just go ahead and buy my book on Amazon.

Also know that I’m available to come speak to your church or women’s group. Please check out my Speaker page which will give you all the info you need as well as links to some videos of me speaking.

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