Updated: Apr 18
We just got back from a family vacation. It was great!
3 days full of adventures: we sailed between islands, the kids went on a fishing charter, hiked in the forest and watched the wildlife so close to us.
I can only guess how many stories my kids collected to share with their friends.
This morning, while getting ready for school, she said to me: “every Monday, the teacher asks us to share what we did during the weekend. Do you know what I’m going to say?”
In my head, I wondered if it will be the story about the fishing boat or the dear we saw outside the window.
“I’m going to tell everyone that I danced with my mom! It was so much fun!”
I almost forgot we did that
A few minutes of dancing with me is more exciting than a dear?
As a parent, I find myself planning activities, especially when it comes to a family vacation. Creating adventures, experiencing new things. I don’t want to get bored. I don’t want my kids to get bored. But every once in a while, moments like the one I had this morning, reminds me what my kids really want and need: time with their parents.
"Quality time” is one of the most common phrases when it comes to parents and children. Almost every parent I know recognizes the fact that kids need quality time with their parents. Parents who I worked with frequently ask about the content of this quality time: “maybe we will go to a movie and then have some ice cream?” “how about we’ll take a class together?” “what about the playground? Maybe I'll add pizza to that?” “This should be fun, right?”
Those ideas are wonderful but following the reminder I got from my daughter, quality time is much more simple. It requires only 2 things: being in the moment and enjoying it. Enjoying the human connection.
When I thought about our little dance I understood what made that moment so special:
* Uniqueness - it was just the two of us. My daughter and me. Naturally, It’s not the first time, but this time we had no interruptions, no interference. No ringing telephone, no one asking questions. We could just look at each other in the eyes and simply be.
* Availability - I didn't think about the schedule or about things needed to get done. During the daily routine, I do have time with my kids but usually, we are on our way somewhere or waiting for one of them to finish his or her practice or class. Often I’m busy thinking about what we’ll make for dinner or when will this day end. This time, I had a clear head.
* Fun - we enjoyed ourselves. Listening to music, making up choreography, laughing when it got mixed up. We had fun with each other.
My kids measure me by my actions. My time with each of them is one of the ways I can show how much I love them and how meaningful they are to me. They are not asking for much. Simply for my time and presence.
The request is there no matter how old they are - toddlers or teenagers. They need it. Always.
I encourage every parent to try and find those simple moments when the connection becomes fun and meaningful. This is true quality time.
And if you have any questions, please reach out, I’m here for you.