Quality time consists of those special moments when parents give their undivided one-on-one attention to their child and needs to occur on a regular basis. It is the one-on-one time that really builds intimacy and a positive relationship.
If your child is playing quietly in his room, don’t sneak away to make a phone call. Reward your child for the good behavior with some quality time and then explain to him that you need to make a call. Playing with your child is also an opportunity to demonstrate and model appropriate behaviors, for example taking turns, sharing, winning, losing and waiting. Comment on what he/she is doing and commend him/her by saying something like “You won – good job”.
Most parents, especially working parents, do not get down on the floor to play with their children enough. You can change the dynamic of your household by making a daily habit of setting aside certain times of day to spend quality time with your children. The outcomes and the effect on your child’s behavior will be immeasurable.Here are some tips for successful quality time with your children:
- Schedule it ahead of time.
- Schedule regularly – daily is best.
- Quality Time is to be spent between parent and child alone, no others present.
- Your child chooses what to do, he/she is the captain (parent may impose limits such as amount of time, amount of money spent, if junk food allowed, etc.).
- Activities should be age appropriate for the child.
- Parent gives the child their full attention. No phones and no TV allowed.
- Parent follows the child’s lead. Child gets to be boss and direct the parent in their play.
- Parent does not discuss limits or discipline during this time. It is positive interaction only.
- Parent does not talk about other family members or their own issues. The child is the center of the universe during this time.
- Special time is not to be canceled as a result of misbehavior. Choose other consequences.
Spend special time with your kids. And start now. The Holidays are a great opportunity.
Happy Special Time!
Daniel Adatto, BCBA