There is a big difference between “quantity-time” and “quality-time.” Quantity-time can be accomplished by being in the same house, car, or location together. You move into Quality-time by what you choose to do while hanging out with your child. We recommend that you intentionally choose to seek out High-Quality and High-Investment opportunities with your child. High-Quality time is accomplished by giving purposeful attention to your child and engaging in personal interaction with your child. High-Investment time is accomplished when you use your available resources, time, and skills for the benefit of your child’s personal growth and development. Now, no one is perfect at this, in fact, being a parent can be tough at times. This is exactly why we are coming alongside you to help.
9 Tips on Crafting High-Quality, High-Investment Time with Your Child
- Put away your devices. As long as there is a phone in your hand, or notifications chirping in your ear, you will find yourself distracted from investing in your child. Become a single-tasker when you are spending time with your child.
- Be present in your whole person. Allow your child to have your full attention physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally. Sit down, engaging in the moment, allowing your child to experience all of you at the same time.
- Have conversations about subjects your child enjoys. What is your child excited about? What is the latest event in their life that has them smiling? Begin your discussion at the location of your child’s interest.
- Spend time doing activities that your child enjoys. Making Perler Beads may not be your number one choice for free time, but if it is something your child digs, it will probably be time well spent. Activities are bridges for conversation (number 3) allowing you and your child to meet on common ground.
- Have fun. Your kid can tell what kind of mood you are in, so choose to be joyful. Laugh, giggle, and spend a lot of time looking your child in the eyes. Allow your smile to be the expression your child experiences most from you.
- Ask your child why they like spending time with you. You may be surprised to find out their answer is not “because you take pictures of me,” or “because your friends on social media pressed ‘like’ (sarcasm intended lightheartedly).” Your child may say something as simple as my eight-year-old daughter did, “Because you play with me.” You child probably thinks you are amazing. More often then not, kids just want to hang out with their parents.
- Teach your child how to accomplish new and exciting tasks. There is a myriad of subjects in which, when compared to your child, you would be considered quite the expert. Your child desires to get better at the “work of play.” Show them how to do something new, then do it together alongside them, and finally coach them as they learn to do it on their own. Accomplishing new tasks is the foundation of learning in both work and play.
- Disciple your child to become a follower of Jesus. You are the largest influence your child will ever have. You will impact your kid more than their friends, their teachers, and their little league coaches. Every opportunity for play with your child can be used to help them understand more about a God who created them, loves them, and wants to be their Savior. Look at how the Bible teaches parents to be intentional with every-day moments: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NIV
- Spend time reading God’s Word together. Depending on the age of your child, there are a variety of different ways in which families can spend time together in God’s Word. Here are some examples:
- Read a chapter from the book of Proverbs everyday
- Sing a song together that has lyrics based on Scripture
- Read one of the parables from the teachings of Jesus
- Talk about the fruit of the Spirit together
- Memorize a Bible verse together
- Do a family devotional together (you may want to check out Artifact Volume I, an Artistic Devotional we created, as every session has an original family-based story)
You can do this, it just takes some intentional thought and effort on your part. Your child is worth the both the quality and the investment associated with your parenting. If you want to engage in the conversation, leave a comment below. We promise to read every comment, and we will respond to as many as we are able.
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