QUALITY TIME: “YOU MUST BE KIDDING”
“Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life….And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was cone” (I Kings 40).
‘Quality Time’ is a delusion dreamed up by psychologists and feminists in order to placate busy parents who feel guilty for not spending more time with their children. Busy–because they value things more than they value children. America is selling her children on the altar of materialism.
Father is out working two jobs in order to buy the boat a trailer in order to be able to furiously spend the weekend in recreation. Mother is sacrificing her motherhood and working long hours in order to help buy the recreational vehicle to pull the boat and trailer. So–in order to feel better they both agree that they will make the little bit of time they squeeze away from their priorities–‘quality.’
The problem is–children do not understand ‘Quality Time,’ they just understand ‘time’–and they need lots of it. Every second spent with parents; they value.
To children this means parents taking the time to talk to them, to walk with them, to play games with them. It means time to sit down with them and read them a story. It means taking time to ‘hear their prayers,’ tucking them in bed, laying beside them and telling them Bible stories.
To a boy, it means Daddy will take time to throw balls with him. It means going fishing alone with his daddy. It means working beside his father building things and pounding nails. It means wrestling together, tickling and laughing together on the carpet. It means time together–just living and enjoying each other.
Ask any child, they will take quantity time over quality time–every time.
Are you an average father in America? Well, I read that the average father spends four minutes–that’s 4 minutes–a day talking to his twelve-year-old son. I suspect this quality time is spent to legislate conduct, rather than affirm relationships.
I once heard a radio preacher claim that the average American father spends no more that 37 seconds talking to his children each day. If this is quality time–it must be mighty exciting!
The feature article in the May 12, 1997, copy of Newsweek is given over to this subject.
In fact, blazoned on the cover is, “The Myth of Quality Time – How We’re Cheating Our Kids.” Let me pass on just a little–I recommend that you read it for yourself.
“Experts say that many of the most important elements in children’s lives–regular routines and domestic rituals, consistency, the sense that their parents know and care about them–are exactly what’s jettisoned when quality time substitutes for quantity time.
‘Mom is working until 4:30 and has to get the groceries and do the laundry and the chores and pick somebody up from soccer and drop somebody off at ice skating….’ Nor do kids shed their need for parental time when they get to be teenagers. “One of the functions of parents is monitoring – you monitor their homework, their friends, what they’re really doing in their spare time… I don’t think we have said enough to parents about the demands on them when early adolescence hits, and kids may start to engage in drugs or sex. Monitoring is critical….
American kids are essentially on strike against their assembly-line lives. “They sulk. They ask for gifts. They tell their parents by action or word, ‘I don’t like this.'”
Parents–you do have alternatives. You do have choices. You can live a slower and simpler lifestyle. You can live in a smaller home. You do not need two cars. You can sell the RV. You can eat at home more often. You can shop the specials. Yes, Mother does not have to work. She can be home with the kids making the house a true sanctuary. It all depends on your priorities.
God has entrusted you with the lives of your children. They are with you for a very short time. He will hold you accountable. If you are not careful–you will be busy here and there-and before you know it, they will be gone.