Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Man Cave: Busting the "Quality Time" Myth

"Psst...hey buddy! Wanna buy a watch? I got some brand new Rolex's here, just a hundred bucks! These are some real quality time-pieces."

Would you buy that?

Then don't by the "quality time" shams that child psychologist are selling either.

I hear it all the time....people talking about some quality time they have planned with their kids. I can't help but chuckle to myself. If there is anything raising children has taught me, it's that planning quality time with your kids is a myth. A fruitless labor. So go ahead, plan your expensive vacation. Buy tickets to a concert. Take them to the zoo. Good luck.

See, here's the deal: You do not get to decide when "quality time" happens; your kids do. It's them that decides the bonding moments. It's them that dictates the teaching moments. Only them. Some of the most valuable moments I ever spent with my children were in my pajamas at 2:00 in the morning, or the first 10 minutes after walking in the door from work.

Quality only happens in the midst of quantity.

If you want the time you spend with your kids to matter, you have to spend a lot of time with them. Every moment you can. That way, when they decide it's time for a teaching or bonding moment, you are there to seize the opportunity. You have to be willing to play when they want to play, or talk when they want to talk (as in 2:00 in the morning). You have to put in the hard yards.

Quality time usually catches you by surprise.

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