I am back at it, this time to talk about Quality Time. Quality time is time spent with your child. This is not time staring off into space, nodding in a non-committal sort of way as they chatter along. I know I have done this, I know my parents and other adults in my life have done this to me. While it might not be good, it is something that is normal. I am not talking about that sort of time, nor am I condemming anyone for doing it.
Along side of this non-committal conversing, we need to be purposeful in spending time with our kids where they know we are listening, know we are paying attention and know they are special.
This has been a toughy for me. I want to spend time with my kids – I really like doing so. However, it is so hard to fit it in for each of them. I know they do better when they have Momma time and I know I feel better as a parent when I do too. For this reason, I delayed commenting last week. I needed to get myself into a groove so I gave myself 2 weeks to figure out a pattern rather than the one I gave for gifts.
I am happy to say, I think I figured it out! The time doesn’t have to be long, but it does have to be intentional. It also helps when you suggest an activity to your child that you know he or she will like, or say yes to doing an activity you really don’t feel like or would rather put off until later. Once I figured out this rather simple, yet illusive concept, I was flying high!
Here are some nice contrasting examples from week 1 verses week 2:
Elasto-Boy – “Mom, will you video tape my lego guys jumping off a wall.”
Me – In my head – “I really don’t want to do that. They take forever and I just end up bored whenever I do this.”
Outloud – “Oh, sorry bud. I need to go load the dishwasher.
Elasto-Boy – “Oh… okay.” Big Frown.
Elasto-boy – “Mom, wanna check out my new dance moves??”
Me – In my head – “I have already seen you do them all about 40 times while you stood in front of me as I tried to watch the TV screen… but I know you love dancing… and I love seeing you do things you love…”
Outloud – “Sure bud. Can you show me that funky moonwalk you made up too? I really like that one.”
Elasto-boy – “Oh, Oh, Yeah!!! And I made a new one too! Let me show you!” Big smile
See… I did much better in week 2!
Queen Bee – “I’m Bored.”
Me – “Go find something to do.”
Queen Bee – “There is nothing to do and nobody to play with.”
20 minutes later
Queen Bee – “I’m really bored.”
Me – “I am sure you can find somehting to do in your room. You have plenty of toys in there.”
Queen Bee – “But they aren’t fun by yourself.”
40 minutes later
Queen Bee – “I have nothing to do.”
Me – “Go sweep the entry way.”
Queen Bee – “Noooo, that isn’t any fun.”
Me – Notices Queen Bee looks bored. “Do you want to help me build this puzzle?”
Queen Bee – “YEAH!!! I love building puzzles.”
20 minutes later
Me – “Can you help me clean up the playroom?”
Queen Bee – “Okay. I like to make things neat and tidy.”
It is amazing what a little Quality Time can do for a child! I am really trying to fit more of these times in for the kids. They are all benefitting and life seems a bit more pleasant. I am also trying to take each of the kids on a little outing to McDonalds or Tim Hortons every couple of weeks. Just me and that specific child, giving us time to chat and just enjoy each others company and good food.
I am also still practicing gifts and things are working well. Queen Bee has been in such a better mood since I started this – she really does respond well to gifts!