Me : Class, let’s talk about happiness and what makes us happy.
Student A : Mam, I am the happiest when I am unwell!
Me (surprised) : Okay! And how does that make you happy?
Student A : Mam, my parents take a leave from their office and spend the whole day with me.
Being a teacher, I emphasized a lot on Quality Time with children and for children. I even adviced the parents, in particular the working couples who scavenged their time running, to give ONE HOUR of quality time to their kids everyday, and this one hour isn’t about helping with homework, watching TV together, going places or movies, naughty behaviour to discipline or going to the park.
It is that one hour that makes spending quality time with the kids meaningful. You don’t have to plan a date for them, all they want is YOU and your undivided attention (and please, with no phones around). Simple engaging chats like ‘How was your day, What’s happening in school, Any event coming up, How are your friends, What’s happening in your hobby class, Did you go to the ground today and et cetera.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SPEND QUALITY TIME EVERYDAY?
A child is like a fresh sponge. They receive and store every single thing they see happening around them. When a child is not getting to spend time with the parent, they get mixed signals regarding right and wrong. What the nanny or substitute caretaker may consider to be right might be wrong for the mom and dad, which leaves the child getting in trouble with the parents when they are together. In this situation, whose fault is it? No one really! But guess, who gets the most affected?
Its imperative for parents and children to have maximum personal interactions, make memories doing happy activities housed on a strong bond.
Every parent (as a nature of animal), have a natural instinct to pass on their knowledge, virtues and values to their descendants. Giving more time facilitates this without causing any stress or push to children.
With the biological clock ticking, 1-month old becomes 6-month old and then 2- year old. Poof! All this in the blink of an eye. And one day you will question yourself if your baby is at par with his/her age? Has he/she learnt enough? But, what if, instead of trying to teach our children what they can learn from school, we just love them and teach them something beyond school…something only a parent is capable of teaching, lesson of how to be loved with complete acceptance. All the expensive toys or gifts they have today will lose its value one day, but the tangible expression of how much worth they have in your eyes will remain with them embedded.
Remember : If you don’t give them your time today, don’t expect them to give you time in future either.
So summing up :-
> Show your love to your child often, one-to-one instead of expensive gifts.
>All the chores, the work, the laundry, errands everything can wait, these formative years of your child will not. Everyday counts. It's more important to BE THERE for them. This gives them emotional strength and security.
>Talk, share our views. A 5-year old's questions might seem unimportant to you or may be sometimes you might not have all the answers but its not about how much or little you know the subject but you are open to discuss and share your views.
> Have atleast one meal together everyday. If it means to have an early dinner, have it!
>Go out for walks and talk about your work, your day.
>Validate their emotions. Tell them it's not ok to suppress feelings. Crying is a child's most instinctual form of communication. If they don't cry out for their needs to be met, most likely they will cry as an adult for things they wont't have.
Teacher’s Tip : If our child is upset and refuses to engage in conversations, dont’t ask questions, instead say, ‘I understand how you feel and I’m going to sit by you and wait until you are ready to share.’
Be a responsive parent, not a reactive one!