Am I Spending Enough Time With My Kids?

Am I Spending Enough Time With My Kids?

03/07/2021
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How much time is the right amount of time to spend with kids? It’s tricky.

Spending time with your kids can be one of the happiest and most rewarding things that you do. It can also be one of the most difficult things that you do. It all depends on how you act, how your kids act, and how you deal with many of the stresses of raising your kids.

There are parents that will fall on both sides of how much time they spend with their kids. There will be some parents who are spending many hours a day with their kids - likely a stay at home parent who is raising their kids. On the other end of the spectrum are those parents who never participate or help with their kids. They love their kids, but they don’t show it in a meaningful way in the home, and they don’t feel obligated to do so.

Most parents fall somewhere between these two extremes, and certainly more lean towards spending too much time with their kids rather than no time (there are far more stay at home parents than parents who literally don’t interact with their kids although they do exist). 

For stay at home parents who spend many hours per day watching and raising their kids, the answer should be a pretty clear yes that you’re spending enough time with your children. As long as you’re not looking at your phone the entire time, or engaged in other activities the entire day, there shouldn’t really be a question about spending time with your kids. Of course, quality generally matters more than quantity, so make sure you’re making some of those hours high quality in activity with them.

The question about spending time with kids becomes a bit more murky as you start to look at a working parent. The short answer is that you will not regret spending a bit more time each day with your kids later in life, whereas there is a good chance that you will regret spending too little time with your child later. In other words, if you think you’re spending too little time with them then you almost certainly are.

There’s really no perfect answer to this question. However, when you do spend time with your kids, make it quality time. If you’re sitting with your kids all evening, but never pay any attention to them and never put your phone or work down, then the time you’re spending with them is pretty meaningless. Make the time about them and about doing things together. Your kids will remember those hours far more than the meaningless ones.

If you’re unsure how to actually spend time with your kids, then let them help you - they’re more than happy to play pretend and make up games. Get on the floor with them and simply try to put out of your mind other worries that you have related to adult matters - your child doesn’t care about those things, just that you’re there with them.

Spend quality time with your kids. If you’re fully engaged with your kids when playing with them, the amount of time will become less important in the long run.

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