Does mom time matter? That was the topic of an article published in the Journal of Family and Marriage earlier this year. The Washington Post explained the study in detail. But here’s the gist:
Researchers claimed that the amount of time spent with mothers is not linked to the well-being of children ages 3-11. The study points to similar findings for father time.
Now, I don’t have a Ph.D. and I’m not a parent, but this seems like nonsense. Because the best memories of my childhood include me, my siblings, and my parents spending time together. And it’s just ridiculousness to think that a parent’s presence doesn’t matter.
In Their Defense…
The researchers do state that quality time is more important than quantity time (common sense, in my opinion). The study also notes that parental presence has a positive impact on children between the ages of 12-18. But either way, I’m sticking with my gut and saying that family time matters regardless of age.
The thing is, we live in a hustle-bustle culture. People are busy and family time gets marked down on the long list of things-to-do. And our relationships suffer as a result of jam-packed schedules. So I’d like to share 3 ways to get more family time from my parent’s playbook:
- Watch less TV. Growing up, my seven siblings and I were not allowed to watch television during the week. And that rule forced us to spend more time with each other. We could play board games, read, and play outside. But, the TV could not be turned on until Friday afternoon. So take back some of your family time by turning off the TV.
- Wake up earlier. One of my former co-workers is an incredible single mother. Her work day started later than most of us, so that she could have breakfast with her children and see them off to school. And the intentionality of it all warmed my heart. Because she takes advantage of the quietness of the morning, to spend quality time with her children.
- Leave work on time. We have 24 hours in a day. And for every extra 15 minutes we spend at work, it is 15 minutes less we get to spend with our loved ones. Show up on time. And leave on time. There will always be “one more thing to do” at work. But the clock is ticking on the amount of time you have left with your children, before they are too busy to spend time with you.
Let’s be intentional to give quality time to our loved ones. Once a moment is gone, we never have the chance to get it back.
BMWK: What tactics do you use to get more quality time with your family?