These days, time seems to be the item in short supply. With changes to the economy, many people find themselves having to work longer hours, sometimes at two jobs just to make ends meet. With the pressure on our time, relationships suffer. Truth is, to maintain good relationships, time is a key ingredient. From that perspective, when time is short, people then think about the quality of time spent together to compensate for lack of time. When applied to family and children, often quality time is confused with spoiling one’s kids to compensate for feeling guilty about lack of time.
To add, where children are concerned, many cannot express their frustration for lack of positive parental attention and time and thus feelings can come out as untoward behavior.
To truly improve one’s time with another, consider these strategies:
1. Limit distractions, particularly as they relate to devices. Simply put, turn them off. The time that goes into those connections can be directed towards one’s partner and/or children. This is especially important at bedtime when parents and children, can more connect and talk about one’s day as they prepare for bed.
2. Schedule time together. Literally put, time with your special other, be it partner or children, into your calendar. As for the activity of that time together, consider discussing it in advance to arrive at a mutually agreeable activity. An activity doesn’t mean spending money. The activity can include a walk, a favorite show and snack, playing with the family pet together. The key is that everyone should agree so that all look forward to the activity with one another.
3. Turn what was single activities into group activities. This applies to doing things around the house such as laundry, cleaning and meal preparation. Being in one’s company to address those communal needs can also help foster closeness.
Enjoying oneself in the company of another strengthens relationships and well-being. It can reduce anxiety and depression and help improve one’s outlook on life. Quality time then, is what you make it. Hopefully the strategies provided can help you find more of it.