It is not always possible for parents to dedicate several hours a day to spend with their children, especially since there is a widespread culture suggesting that spending more time with children increases their chances of a bright future.
However, a new study revealed that the amount of time that parents spend with children aged between 3 and 11 years has no impact on how they turn out. The impact on teens is minimal. This research took a variety of factors into consideration, including children’s behaviour, academic achievement, and emotional well-being.
In fact, the research revealed that parents spending too much time with their children could be detrimental to the little ones, when the parent becomes sleep-deprived, stressed, guilty, and anxious. This is particularly concerning when parents juggling work and raising children go to unhealthy lengths to make it work.
So, Is It Better For Children If Their Parents Spend Less Time With Them?
Parent time is certainly important, but research suggests that quality time is better than quantity time. There are numerous studies showing a connection between quality time and positive outcomes for their children.
In these studies, quality parent time involves taking part in different activities with your children, like sharing meals, reading to them, talking with them, or some other form of one-on-one engagement that involves the parent exercising warmth and sensitivity toward the child.
Quality time should be enough to allow for in-depth bonding between the parent and child, so it should ideally be more than one hour. During this time, the parent can do fun activities with the children, show them new things, and even teach them values. You also get to instill your own level of discipline that may not necessarily be emphasized when you leave your child with the babysitter.
But beyond doing fun activities in this limited timeframe, like going to amusement parks and playing, parents should also do important things with their children, like school work, cooking, and tidying up. During these activities, you teach them other useful skills, like problem-solving, logic, order, respect, etc.
Research shows that having strict and involved parents’ results in less delinquent behaviour. But more importantly, the mother’s educational level and household income has the most influence on a child’s future success.
According to one study from Amy Hsin at Queens College, spending most of the time with children younger than the age of 6 watching television or doing nothing can adversely affect them. Instead, spending quality time with your children, and allowing them unstructured time to themselves without your involvement, helps in their cognitive and social development.
For more tips on fun and useful activities to do with your children, contact us today at Childventures Early Learning Academy.