This entire week I am travelling for work in Switzerland and Germany. I am in the middle of the week and I am home sick already.
I especially miss spending time with family – quality time. This got me thinking. I asked myself ‘ do I spend quality time with loved ones? Do I understand clearly what quality time means?’ This chain of thought lead me to explore what quality time really means and how I can incorporate it in my parenting routine.
So what is quality time? This is my favourite interpretation. Oxford dictionary defines Quality time as time in which one’s child, partner, or other loved person receives one’s undivided attention, in such a way as to strengthen the relationship.
There are two important criteria to be able to tell whether the time you spent with your loved one was quality time: 1. Did you provide undivided attention to your loved one? 2. Did you deepen the relationship in the process?
Given the world of digital distraction we live in, undivided attention is clearly the most scarce resource we have. The only way I think we can achieve that is by setting aside dedicated time as ‘quality time’ This is the time slot of your day or week where you keep away your phones, iPads and TV and engage with your loved one with all your attention.
So, I realise I don’t spend enough quality time with Aanya and need a healthy routine. And this is the routine I will try for the next 4 weeks and write about it again:
- Post school catchup (15 min): an informal chat with Aanya to understand how her day was, what she learnt, what were the highlights and so on.
- Evening badminton ( 30 min.): This can be good outdoor engagement where we can learn and at the same time we spend some quality time together.
- Homework time (30 min): helping Aanya with her homework and using the time to teach and talk about new things.
- Post dinner walk (15 min): The late evenings are pleasant and a walk with Aanya and chatting with her informally about life in general sounds like a great idea.
That’s the plan right now starting next week for all the weekdays. Weekend like I have already said have to be more creative,and we will plan it as it comes. But remember, the idea is to spend quality time together which can be fun, informal and also a great learning experience.
Let’s see how it goes. I will keep you all posted!