Quality time is the rationale of an ambitious parent.
Available time is the mark of an interested parent.
Listening time is the heart of a loving parent.
When I hear a parent talk about "quality time" with their child, the odds are high they’re missing the point. Time spent with their kid is another meeting on their Outlook calendar. Kudos for setting aside the time, but kids aren’t business meetings in which you manage them to your agenda, check through a list of to dos, and then dismiss them when the big hand hits 12.
Available parents offer the child a high measure of security while nurturing independence. Younger children learn that they can count on their parents being there for them when needed regardless of the
circumstances. Later in their teens, this imprint becomes very important to maintaining the relationship despite turbulence.
When your child appears in your available time for an impromptu conversation, learn to actively listen, nod your head, and bite your tongue until asked. Also be prepared to not have your response listened to in turn. By anticipating the interruption, you’ll fall more readily into listening parent mode. Your attentive silence speaks volumes into the heart and soul of your child. When it is all said and done, you both want the same thing – a great relationship. Remember you are the adult and a right relationship over
time is more important than being right in the moment. Leave them win their "stupid contests" – arguments over the littlest things. You’ll discover your kids are a great source of humor … just save your laughs for later.
Good luck being On-Purpose Parents as another year of school begins.