ORANGE TIP FOR THE WEEK – Quality time vs Quantity time

ORANGE TIP FOR THE WEEK - Quality time vs Quantity time

We often hear that we need to spend time with our kids.

The realities of our working and school lives in today’s culture have seen us learn that time needs to be managed well and that some time is more ‘quality’ than other time.

My experience though, is that trying to manufacture quality time has often made for awkward, uncomfortable, forced experiences as I’ve tried to extract maximum value from minimum minutes.

Like anything we do I’ve discovered that quality time takes time. It has only when I’ve been able to invest a quantity of time that I’ve been able to break through and start experiencing real quality time – not just time doing ‘quality’ things.

This is all very well, but not very helpful if all it does is send us on another parenting guilt-trip. We do that enough already!
So what practical ways can we work at to develop a quantity of time that gives quality time the chance to flower? Here’s just a couple of ideas;

Mix and Match – Look for opportunities in work or ‘rest-of-life’ activities to involve your kids. Need to go for a long drive to pick something up, meet someone, etc? Take your kid for a road-trip. You’ll need to be intentional, there’s every chance you can be in the same vehicle for hours and spend no time together.

Getaway – Plan a holiday for just you and one child. Do something cool, something challenging, something unusual. For my family, each of our children had a ‘Me and Dad Holiday’ around their 13th birthday. Each one was completely different, both to each other’s, and to any other holiday they have had.

Minister together – Look for opportunities to appropriately involve your kids in your areas of ministry. For some this is easier than others. If there is no practical way to do this in your usual areas of ministry, then take on, even for a few weeks, a ministry you can do together (greeting people at church, setting up chairs, dropping off a meal, writing letters of encouragement). Involving your kids in ministry is a great way of modelling that ‘quality time’ doesn’t just mean ‘getting to do all the stuff I want to do’.

Eat together – We all have to eat. We do it regularly and often. It can be difficult to align schedules and appetites but for most families there are always a few opportunities in a week to share a meal. Don’t miss your chance for time together eating – it is a fundamental element of ‘being’ together.

Turn Up – Be part of something your kids do. look out for one-off (or more regular, if you have the time) opportunities to turn up and help out at something your kids are already a part of. Whether it’s school, footy, dancing or a youth car-wash, see if you can come along and volunteer alongside your child. You might even have fun!

The more quantity of time you can manage with your kids the more likely you, and they, will experience quality time.

If you’d like to explore this a bit more please check out the video here;

What is ‘Orange’? Orange is a visual reminder that to help our kids follow Jesus the church and families need to work together.

If RED represents the love and heart of families for their kids…

And YELLOW represents the light that the church should be in the world…

Then ORANGE is when we come together, work together and guide our children together.