This issue is of particular concern to working parents who have limited time to be with their children. But even if a parent is at home all day with the child, there are so many tasks to be accomplished that she may not really spend much time directly interacting with him.
What is quality time?
If you interact with your child, actively listening to her, talking with her, and keeping it pleasant, that's quality time. The time spent is intimate and enjoyable. During this time, the parent conveys that he or she is fully there for the child (obviously you can't have one eye on the TV!) The child gets the crucial message that her parent really wants to be with her. Children need some quality time with their parents every day.
When your child has got your total attention, even for a short time, he will feel connected to you and less likely to engage in misbehaviour, tantrums or whining to get your attention. While you and your child engage in activities together, you will notice how much fun you are having and also that you are relating in a new way.
What it is NOT
This does not mean that you have to be exclusively at your child's beck and call all the time you are home.To be a well-functioning adult, you too need time and space for yourself. If you are tired at the end of the day or just need to be quiet or do something alone, explain this simply to your child. Tell him you will spend time with him later and keep your promise.
If you have spent quality time with your child and he keeps pestering you for more than you can give, say "No", and don't feel guilty.
What to do
Do not have much time? Here are some ideas that you can fit into your daily routine.
Look up our section on Fun Activities for ideas on what to do when you have a little more time to spare. If you're providing some of this quality contact every day, you're doing fine!