← Go back Family Time: Quantity vs. Quality
Published on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 by

When it comReadingtoChild_FamilyTime240es to spending time with your children, what’s more important: quality or quantity?

Fretting over how much time to spend with our kids is one more symptom of our current parenting culture, as a new study makes clear. Despite the cultural belief that spending more time with your kids helps them, a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family says that might not be true.

In fact, the study found one key instance when parent time can be particularly harmful to children. That’s when parents, mothers in particular, are stressed, sleep-deprived, guilty and anxious.

“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” said co-author Kei Nomaguchi, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University.

The amount of time parents spent with children ages three to 11 had virtually no impact on their academic achievement, emotional well-being and behaviour. However, researchers found that quality time, such as reading with kids, having dinner with them, or talking one-to-one with them was linked to beneficial outcomes.

Parents have a lot to worry about when it comes to figuring out what it takes to raise happy, healthy, successful children. Figuring out whether you can afford to stay at home with your kids, or whether you can’t afford not to, and how much time you should spend with your kids can be confusing and overwhelming.

Children and tweens want to spend time with their parents doing something meaningful. As we discuss in some of our programs, such as My Tween and Me, it’s about the relationship you have with your kids, not the amount of time you spend with them. So relax, and focus on having fun with your child!

Ruby, is the Provincial Coordinator of the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting and the My Tween and Me Programs. Ruby believes that parenting education and support makes a difference for families; and that although it can be super challenging, being a parent is also very rewarding and the most important job there is.

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