I was talking to a friend of mine that said he spent several hours a week with his wife and he still knew nothing about her. When I asked him what kind of quality time they spent with each other, he mentioned the movies, watching TV, going to nightclubs and being out with friends. Is that really quality time?
Think of all the people that you would like to know more from. More than likely you’ll mention your partner, your kids, your siblings, your friends, etc. The dictionary defines quality time as “time during which one focuses on or dedicates oneself to a person or activity.” Another definition is, “an informal reference to time spent with close family, partners or friends that is in some way important, special, productive or profitable. It is time that is set aside for paying full and undivided attention to the person or matter at hand. It may also refer to time spent performing some favorite activity.”
What does that mean? Well, let’s look at the example of watching TV or going to the movies. Where is one’s attention at? It is certainly not with our loved ones. Is this productive for our communication? Highly doubt it. You might have a wonderful time watching the next superhero movie on the screen, but when are you learning about your partner, or your kids? When are you finding out about their day, their likes and their lives? This is not to say that all of your time has to be quality time. Having a fun time watching the tube together is fun and is necessary for our health. We should ask ourselves if there is a balance, though.
Well, the argument goes, times have changed. No longer (if ever) is there a time where the family does many things together, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, think “Leave it to Beaver.” Now, mom and dad work, not only dad, or in a one-parent household, the parent works a lot more. Thing is, that because of our hectic lives where we need to run around from place to place and always be on the go, it is not as easy anymore. Still, there might be a way for the family to have quality time even if it’s just for 30 minutes to an hour of dinner. Try turning off the iPhones, iPads, and iWhatever it is that they come up with and just talk while sitting down at the dinner table. Think of all the things that we could learn from one another. Is your spouse having a tough time at work or at home and is acting a certain way because of that? Are your kids surrounded by healthy kids or are they surrounded by drugs and gangs?
You’ll be surprised how a little time spent goes a long way towards prevention of failed relationships and bad outcomes in life. My suggestion use it if possible once a day or more. Sit down and enjoy yourselves, Super Mario and the Real Housewives of anywhere can wait.