You already know that good parent-child relationships cannot be bought. Good parent-child relationships - the kind you're working to build with your kids every day - are a by-product of spending quality time together, not money.
However, many parents would like to believe they spend “quality time” with their kids; but in reality, they've allowed the phrase to take on an altogether different meaning. They compensate for having a limited amount of time to spend with their children by telling themselves, "I may not spend much time with my kids, but when I do, I spoil them by buying them things."
Parents whose quality time consists mainly of buying their children things are at risk of building their relationship on the basis of purchases and are at risk of developing a sense of entitlement in their children. In time, their children do not want to spend time with a parent if that parent isn’t spending money on them. Given the rise of this situation, the parents then begrudge the relationship with their children and feel they are being taken advantage of. Sadly though, this is how some children have been trained to relate to their parents.
An important indicator of quality time is actually quantity of time spent with children. Children, whose parents spend time with them as opposed to money, learn to value the parent for who they are, rather than what they may purchase. Instead of purchasing things as the basis of the parent-child relationship, activities can be substituted, particularly activities that are inherently fun for both parent and child.The process of developing a good parent-child relationship starts when children are young.
- Bath time and feeding time can be fun activities, as are peek-a-boo and making faces for the wee ones.
- Come toddler age, going for strolls, playing on the floor and looking at picture books can be entertaining.
- For the preschooler, running around outside, walks to the playground or visiting the library can form the basis of spending time together.
- School age children enjoy throwing a ball, playing sports and going for bike rides together.
- Even teens enjoy time with their parents. This time can be spent talking about life, exercising, and even listening to music together.
Throughout, make the effort to eat at least one meal a day together with your child. This provides an opportunity to stay connected and discuss how things are going in your child’s life.