How are you doing? As we progress toward normalcy, one thing I am very grateful for during these past months is the quality conversations I have had with close friends. I have found several occasions where I was actively seeking these interactions. This observation made me think deeper about the meaning of quality time and how it translates for a child. By definition it means spending time with someone in a nurturing way that fulfills their emotional tank. Although it sounds simple, it can be a steep challenge regardless of your age. My friends with children often tell me it is a constant balance of providing their child the attention needed while also juggling other life moments.
With this question in mind I first referred to The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell and while digging deeper I was further inspired by a blog post by Angela Kim from Mommy Diaries, How to Encourage your Children to Play Independently. Quality time is about spending time together as well as apart and these resources provide ideas how to nurture this love language effectively. Although each child is different and their intentions will vary, by setting subtle boundaries and routines you can satisfy your child’s needs while also providing them the opportunity to develop their imagination/ problem solving skills. From these resources I compiled the following takeaways.
- Speaking to your child and making eye contact with them when doing so.
- Setting up daily play time for both together and apart from you.
- Take baby steps and start with small increments of time for each option.
- Playing apart is just as important in that it allows for the child’s imagination to flourish and problem solving skills to develop.
- Playing with your child for a little bit before departing.
- Life can be unpredictable! If something arises that cuts into designated play time, play with your child for a small segment of time before departing and communicate this to them in advance so that they are aware of your upcoming departure.
- Include them in your daily activities. (Making dinner together, grocery shopping, working in the yard)
- Make plans together for future activities and travels.
- Arrange to read quietly.
- Similar to playing apart, being in the same room even while doing separate activities is very effective as well.
Personally, I am so intrigued by the love languages and the power of communication. For more information on the love languages please reference The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. I also highly encourage you to check out the Mommy Diaries by Angela Kim which is full of great resources! I have included the link to the particular blog post that I referenced below. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and look forward to hearing from you soon!
Kristina Lucia xoxo
Link to Mommy Diaries by Angela Kim