Concerning kids – What is true quality time for kids?


Christian Life

Anna Gnatyshyna, CNE.news

Photo AFP, Attila Kisbenedek

The best thing you can spend on kids is time. We all agree on that, but the main challenge is the way we spend this time. Somehow we naturally “count” all the hours that the kids are around as “spending time together”. But kids have a radically different perspective.

“Come on, colour the book with me”, Emi was dragging me to the table while I tried to protest. For me colouring or doing puzzles together seemed like a huge waste of time. I had long to-do lists in my mind and I looked for the way to be near the child but to keep working.

Anna Gnatyshyna.jpg
Anna Gnatyshyna. Photo Anna Gnatyshyna

Anna lives in Kyiv and runs evangelistic Children Club. She is a Children Ministry Coordinator in Eurasia with the organisation OneHope. Anna studied theology, and she is a guest teacher in Kyiv Theological Seminary.

If I am somewhere nearby the child, I tend to think that we are spending “our time together”. But the girl kept interrupting my work on the phone and asked to actively participate in her activity.

Ultimately, it is about the quality of the time we spend with children, not about the quantity of hours when I am around in the house or in the church. Quality time means giving children undivided attention while doing activities they like to do. It is not something complicated and challenging, but rather being there with them in that moment.

Life is busy and we are all busy people. Despite all the technology and modern time-management lifehacks, we still do not have the amount of free time we desire.

However, quality time with children is never a waste of time. Instead, it is an investment in relations, their character and intellectual development, their confidence and self-perception, their growth and maturity.

“Come on, help me”, Emi interrupted my work once again. I put down the phone and took a crayon to colour with her. While colouring, I hugged her, talked to her, listened to her. Those 20 minutes of quality time together became the highlight of her day.

Quality time is not about endless hours, but rather about time that truly matters for the child. Every little bit of time makes a positive impact. How can we have this quality time moments in daily busy life?

  1. Change your perspective on quality time. Short quality time with child is way better than hours of unattendance when you’re distracted.

  2. Turn off technology when you are with the child. Your attention is more important for the child, than hundreds of toys and crayons.

  3. Create a special ritual for the child that can be done daily, like saying goodbyes or decorating the table.

  4. Decide to have “short pauses” in your daily routine to join the child in the activity. Do not have a “time is money” mentality.

  5. Always look for opportunities to hug the child and say, “I love you”.

In the end, kids won’t remember that fancy toy or game you bought them. However, they will remember the time you spent with them.



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