What's the difference between quality time and quantity time with your children?

United States
July 14, 2008 7:21pm CST
How do you spend quality time with your children? Do you think it's better to spend quality time (however brief) with your child? Or, would you rather spend lots of time with your child even if you don't do anything special? As a stay at home mom, I spend lots of quantity time with my child. Meaning that we are around each other all day. But I love spending quality time with her doing the things she likes, including dolls, online educational games, crafts, painting, learning time, etc. I wish that she would spend more of the quality time with me. Seems like she is growing up so fast and growing away from me. And I don't want that. More and more, she goes off to her own room to play by herself. Sometimes she will play dolls with me, but other times she wants to be alone. And during those times she won't let me into her world. I guess every child has their own time schedule for growing up.
2 people like this
16 responses
• India
15 Jul 08
Your daughter sure is growing up fast…my son turned 9 yesterday and while I don’t whether that’s still child or boy or whatever, he is forever clinging on to me. Though I must admit that since I am working, he gets to see me max to max 6 to 7 hrs on weekdays. Of that, we spend like around 3 hrs on studying and the rest on having the family dinner together, bed-time stories and such. On weekends though, we are on computer games, going out, painting together, doing scrap books and school projects and such. So for me, the demarcation between quality time and quantity time is blurred really
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jul 08
I'll bet my daughter would love scrapbooking.
@Sillychick (3279)
• United States
15 Jul 08
I've heard it said that any time together is quality time. My definition of quality time is focusing attention on each other and not being busy with other things. Of course, when my son helps me do laundry, I consider that quality time because we are both enjoying ourselves and he is learning. I stay home with my son and I think that most of our time together is quality. We don't have to be doing anything special. As long as the TV and computer are off, I'm not on the phone or reading, and we are interacting in some way. Of course, sometimes I just sit and watch him play, and I consider that quality, also. So I guess my answer, after all this rambling, is that I agree with whoever it was that said all time together is quality. You are right, they grow up so fast, I just want to enjoy every moment I have with my son because soon he will start wanting to be alone or with his friends and I'll miss spending my days with him.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jul 08
That sums up my feelings, exactly! Just the other day she wanted me to sit in her room and watch her play. So I did. She would not let me play with the dolls, but wanted me to watch. It was really nice just hanging out and being around her with no TV and no computer. I liked that. I wish we did stuff like that more often.
• United States
15 Jul 08
It is indeed true that spending time with your kids is considered quality. Spending "Quality" time with your children; did you notice how I used the word Quality Here would be an example of Quality & Quantity. If you were to buy clothes from a store, would you buy it because of it's quality or it's price? The price would be considered the quantity and the quality would be considered... you know the rest. In your kids terms. If you were to buy your kids happiness with toys & expensive gifts, that would be considered quantity gifts. If you were to spend time with your children and make them happy just by being with them, that would be considered quality time. Glad I Could Help
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (100427)
• United States
15 Jul 08
The quality time may be when you let her into your life. When she can do big girl things with you, instead of you doing little girl things with her.
• United States
15 Jul 08
OK! That makes sense. I guess her idea of quality time might vary from mine. We do play online games and watch TV shows together. She used to help me clean up, then she turned three and stopped wanting to clean!
@ayessa (1586)
• Philippines
15 Jul 08
For me quality time is spending time together while doing something that both of you enjoy. It can be as simple as talking ato one another. While quantity time is spending time doing nothing at all. For me I also wanted to spend much quality time with my baby but it is really hard to do since I have work and I go home a bit late. I spend my quality time with her by doing all the things for her. I do make it sure that I will be the one who will gave her dinner and gave her a shower before going to bed. We also play and talk even she can't talk too much since she's still a baby we talk everynight. I don't forget to let her feel my love for her. Things like that.
• United States
15 Jul 08
That is very sweet! I'm sure she knows how much you love her.
@pillusch (1149)
• Mexico
15 Jul 08
I can sympathize with you, and I'm going through the same thing. First of all, as far as quantity time is concerned, I insist that my family (wife and two boys, 12 and 13) have at least one meal together. That's very often quantity time, but at least there is a chance, and I do my best, to turn it into quality time. It doesn't always happen, but at least there is the potential for it. Apart from that, my boys and I (and usually a friend or two of theirs) used to play poker on saturday afternoons. Or maybe some other board game, and it was real fun. But they got kind of reluctant over the past year or so. Whenever I ask whether they want to play they diplomatically say 'No thanks, Dad'. Well educated ! And by now I got a little tired of asking. I don't take it as something that's directed against me, I guess they need their own time more now. I feel that I have a very good relaionship with them, but in the end I'm ole Dad, and they need to get away from me.
• United States
15 Jul 08
I hear you! Sometimes it feels the same way here. She has all the time in the world to play games with her Dad when he is home on his days off work. But she sees me all the time. Maybe she is bored with me! Maybe I'm just expecting too much. I am around all the time. I guess that could get a little too much for any friend! Thanks for your post. Beauty Queen P.S. Have you tried that paint ball game or laser tag on Saturdays with your sons? I don't know what teens are into, but that always sounded fun when I was their age. Could work, I guess. Best of luck.
@myliezl0903 (2731)
• Philippines
15 Jul 08
well, i am a working mom and i sometimes when i got home my daughter is already sleeping or in the morning she will go to school and i will be going to office.,so in most cases we only had time during weekends cause it is my off and my daughter doesn't have school at that time.,so we make it a point that we'll spend quality time together.,we used to go to a mall and play games like in timezone or tomsworld, we dine in and she shared something about her school.,anyway she is now 8 years old and she loves to talk, she is very cute girl and i am proud to say that she is also cream of crop in her school.,i am so happy that i do have a daughter like her.,thank God! Ü
• United States
15 Jul 08
Often being a working mom is part of life. I'm happy that you were able to make it work for you. You still spent so much good time with your daughter despite your schedule. And that is what is important! Thank you for your words! Beauty Queen
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I think that both quality and quantity are of equal importance. But sometimes it is not easy to have all the time you want, what with the busy lives we have for example. I am a stay at home mother and I like my son to have a lot of quality time with me. My husband works but he spends quality time with him also when he can. It's really important for the children to know they are wanted.
@nupats (3564)
• India
17 Jul 08
well we can stay at home and say we spend a lot of time with our child..but that is just the quantity part..i try to finish my work when my son is away at school so that i am free when he returns..then i ask him how was his day..i freshen him up and change his clothes..then i cut fruits for him..and we play some games or do drawing ..then i give him luch and i put him up for an afternoon nap and then back to work...evening is milk time and some cookies..and i take him to the park ..he can have juice if he wants and he plays we comeback and then my husband spends time with him playing seeing books on animals..singing songs or some craft..you need to constantly work on the personality development of the child and tell him the right things..so that is quality time..
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
17 Jul 08
Quality time is a phrase used by parents who do not have the time to do anything with their children. So they chose a time when they can do something special with them to make up for their lack of time they have to spend with them. These kids often feel neglected and look forward to that short happy time with their parent and then morn for it being so short and so far in between. What you do is spend a lot of time with your children. They are happy and loving it and will remember it there whole lives. When I was working I spent quality time with my kids. I did not have a close bond with them. Now that I am home all the time I am much closer to them (Except they are now teenagers and they look at it as a burden). You are also right that a child needs time to just be by themselves. This allows them to grow as an individual and to not always be dependent on another.
@gemini_rose (16193)
15 Jul 08
I know what you mean, when I had my daughter I had such plans, I knew that we would have all day together because the others were in school all day and I planned all the fun that we would have together. Let me tell you that none of it worked out, from the moment she was born everything just went to pieces and it just never works out. I try so hard to play with her and do things with her but she has no interest in it, she never wants to do anything with me. She just sits and chills out and looks forward to her brothers coming home again so she has someone to play with.
• United States
15 Jul 08
Well, both my kids are adults now but, when they were little, I felt quality time with them was very important. I was a working mom and didn't have a lot of time. But, every day when I picked them up from the sitter or day care, we talked about what had gone on in their day. I listened to them while I was cooking dinner, if they wanted to tell me something. But, most importantly, at bed time, they both got 10 minutes of undivided attention. I know this doesn't sound like a lot of time but, they both tell me now that those 10 minutes were very important to them and they looked forward to having that time alone with Mom. They could tell me anything they wanted to, we listened to their favorite radio station, whatever they wanted. I sang them each a different song and, told each of them good night in a different language. They tell me now that they treasure those silly little things. So, for me and my children, quality was the most important thing.
• Malaysia
15 Jul 08
quantity when they were small, quanlity when they grown up... that is what we expect from parents and our child might think of that as welll///
@coopstar (282)
• United States
15 Jul 08
Im just gonna answer the first part of the question,Quality time; me and a mytie on the beach. Quality time with kids;me and my kids and a box of lincoln logs.
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
15 Jul 08
You definitly need a balance of both. I probably don't spend as much quality time as I could, or should... but they get tons of quantity time.
@SHAMRACK (8384)
• India
15 Jul 08
Dear friend, I experienced it most after departed from the person whom I had to marry. Now the my girl child is with her and I had to always get a court sanction even to see her and my time for me is the most precious time in the world being with my daughter my 3 year old daughter.