Story of how a single mother influenced her child without enough time on our hands
Quality time is perhaps the most commonly misinterpreted term. Quality time is where you spend time with your children, and they enjoy it. It also has to have a positive impact on them. So today, we will understand the real meaning of quality time from some stories.
The other day we (my friends and I) were at the mall browsing around when we stumbled across a family. The family consisted of parents and their two sons. Coming to the incident, the father was on his phone, and so were the kids. Mother was the one doing the shopping.
When she came back from the shopping, we heard (we were not eavesdropping, just happened to be sitting there as well) them having a conversation that was along the lines that they had so much fun today and that they have spent quality time with their kids today. And everybody seemed to agree, while still being on their phones.
So, do you find anything fishy in the situation? I do. Everybody had a great time that day, and they enjoyed themselves. But is that quality time? Mom was shopping while the rest of the clan was on their gadgets. What did they do together? Everybody had fun separately, not with each other.
Spending time with kids means you have to make a connection with your kids. It means you have to have fun together with your children. Everybody should enjoy together. And that will bring you close as a family.
So, at the mall, again. But this was for movies. And like any normal human being, we (with family this time) went straight to the food court after the movie. Sat on a table and adjacent to us was a family of three.
All three of them were on their gadgets (I felt like I had seen this before somewhere). We thought it is going to be the same story again. (so did you right?) But, here comes the twist.
The parents told the child that he was on the phone for a long time and that he should enjoy what they are doing now. And saying this, the parents snatched the kid’s phone. I thought, finally! But I was so wrong.
They got the first part right by taking the phone from him. Now, the second step was to keep their phones away, which they did. Then why is it one of the stories here? That is because of what happened at step three.
Step three is supposed to be where they chat with each other. But, what happened was, the parents kept talking to each other about someone they met the other day.
The child is now just eating the food quietly. He has nothing to do because the one thing that he was doing to keep himself occupied was now taken away.
Just getting the child off the phone is not going to do the trick. When you take away something from your child, you have to offer something better in replacement. If you take away their phones, then you should be a delightful company for them so that they don’t feel the need for electronic devices to keep them entertained.
What is the child supposed to do now? Sit there like a robot? At least the family in the previous story was happy, not together, but at least content that they had a wonderful day outside. Does quality time mean you just have to get your children off their devices, or is there something more to it?
Such incidents harm your children, and your connection starts getting weaker and weaker.
Now, coming to the final story. There was a single mother who came to us saying that she was guilty that she could not spend as much time with her child. But, when we saw the child, we saw a very different story. The boy was one of the most mature twelve-year-olds we had seen. Her problem and the reality weren’t matching.
So, to get a sense of what the problem was, we asked her to describe her day to us. She went to work from 9 am to 7 pm. After that, there was half an hour in between, and then again, she had conference calls with clients from 8 pm to 10:30 pm. By then, it was time for her child to sleep.
It was indeed a tight schedule. Then we asked her what her child was doing when she was on conference calls. She said that her child would sit near her while she talked to them. We asked her how she resolved her differences with these clients or how she handled these conversations.
She said she had a calm approach and dealt with those clients in a very professional and mature way. That is when things became clear as daylight.
Her actions positively impacted her child. Even though she had very less time with her child, she made the most of it. And it showed in the child’s behavior. She was influencing him to be a better person and didn’t even know. And, that is what spending quality time is. It does not matter how many hours you are with them, what matters is what you do in the moments you are together.
Parents often say that they spend time with their kids by doing what they say to make them happy. For example, they take them to parks or fun zones in the malls and let them enjoy on their own. But that does not mean they spent time with their children.
They made no connection. Her only problem was that the guilt she was feeling was the negative energy. She was doing her best, so there was no need for these negative feelings to hamper it.
So, quality time is when you and your child do something together and bond. Directly or indirectly, it impacts your children. When you spend time with your children, don’t just talk about them. Talk about your life and your work with them, like you would with a friend.
Ask for their opinion on it. It tells them that you trust them and respect their views. It improves your relationship, and you have very few problems between you and your child. Moreover, these problems are not difficult to resolve because both of you share a connection and are on the same page. If you get the concept of quality time, it will do you wonders.