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Working Wife

 

Quality Time with Your Children

 Q: My wife and I both work.  We know that what our children will miss in quantity of time we will try to make up for in quality of time.  Our problem is that sometimes our attempts at “quality time” backfire.  Do you have any thoughts on restructuring quality time between parents and children?

A: Quality time has a lot to do with how this time is given.  You must be in a place to be able to give your time happily, joyfully, and eagerly. Children sense when you are giving half-heartedly or resentfully.  It is hard to give when you feel empty.  Once you can establish that you can, and you authentically want to share quality time, here are a few suggestions:

1.      Children love to have a parent all to themselves.  Talk, play a game, have a meal “out”.

2.      Quality time is participating in an activity your child also enjoys rather than using parental power to have you child do what only you want to do.

3.      Demonstrate through words and actions that you love a child while being sensitive to how much, when and what kind of affections your child desires.  For example, you can hug, kiss, snuggle, say “I love you,” write an affectionate note, and smile appreciatively at your child often.  The key here is balance – for example, being demonstrative but not overwhelming a child with hugs and kisses he/she does not want.

      When you give your children this type of quality time, you transmit the feeling that they are valued, loved and are significant in your life – that is a valuable gift.