Quality Time With Children is a Myth

Quality Time With Children is a Myth

Mothers use the term “quality time” for two different reasons. Either it’s to justify them working outside of the home and another is to justify only having a few children. Neither of these reasons are biblical. Mothers are called to bear children and be keepers at home. We are told that happy is the man who has a quiver full! Ponder this. Before birth control, the term “quality time” was never used when thinking about how many children one would have. The roots of birth control are far from God’s will for us.

Here is what a few women in the chat room had to say about “quality time” since many have fallen for this myth:

“The best response I’ve heard is that children get a lot of quality time with each other. Also, if mom is a stay-at-home, she can have a lot more time than most one or two kid households with two working parents where parents only spend an hour or two of quality time maximum with their kids anyways. If anything we find our kids lack alone time. It’s hard to be lonely in a large family.” (Rachel)

“I like Michelle Duggars response, not exactly regarding quality time but with each one that comes along. ‘Love multiplies. It doesn’t divide.’ Your heart grows to accommodate each and every blessing. It doesn’t have to divide itself up. Time wise, stay at home, simplify your life, do away with unnecessary distractions, and you’ll find enough time for each of them.” (Amanda)

“Quality time is a myth that came about to ease the conscience of working women. The crux of it being that child-rearing is about quality versus quantity – with quality being superior. But the truth is, you can’t truly be ‘familiar’  with your children unless you are AROUND them a lot! Kids need quantity and quality! Another thing: Quality time with children is often spontaneous, not something you plan ahead or schedule. Some of the best times I’ve had with my children just ‘happened’ during the course of an ordinary day.” (Kathy)

“Yes, this is absolutely where the ‘quality time’ phrase came from. The claim is that you spend quality time and that’s more important than quantity time. But that’s simply not true. Kids need quantity time with their parents more than so-called quality time. If you have enough time, there will be good times. But the real benefit is from being together during the good times and bad times. That’s what really makes a family cohere.” (Lindsay)

“Honestly, we spend more time with our seven children than people I know with one or two.
1) We homeschool, so they are home with us all day.
2) We spend time working with our children – more time spent.
3) They are not in a million activities and  eating supper through a drive through in the car everyday. We sit and eat supper as a family every night.” (Carmella)

“My parents had seven children and they were able to spend lots of time with each of us. When you homeschool especially, kids get a lot of time with their parents. We have four so far and they get all kinds of time with us. I don’t think you run out time for your kids because of how many you have. If your time to spend with your kids is very limited because you’re always at work and they’re at school or other activities, then this might become a concern, but only because of other things that keep you apart.” (Lindsay)

“Quality time happens in the midst of quantity time, while doing life together! How can you NOT get quality time whilst discipling your children? Working and playing together, teaching, listening, laughing. For little kids, the little things *are* big things, and as they grow, their trust in you grows because they know and have experienced your investment in them, and your time and attention whilst training them. There are so many household chores, enough for all to get time. Occasionally, there are special outings (grocery shopping) or a kid will find you (late night) when they need a bit extra. Sometimes you have to orchestrate, often it’s an organic dynamic in the family.” (Sharon)

“Mama of six here! It’s no lie. There are days I don’t feel like there’s enough of me to go around but whenever I’ve asked my children if they feel loved, they always say yes. My husband and I have a strong marriage. We hunt with our kids. We do everything together as a family and God always provides the right amount of love, care, or nurturing time right when it’s needed. Also, we homeschool and do Bible and devotions most daily as a family. It just works out. God is good!” (Jamie)

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5

9 thoughts on “Quality Time With Children is a Myth

  1. I’ve heard that term tossed around, it cracks me up as much as the one “the father is baby sitting the children”. I always wonder “Is the mother paying the father?” To me, babysitting was something I did as a teenager to earn extra money when a couple when out for a bit. Anyways……back to the quality time myth – every waking minute you spend with your child is quality time, no matter how minimal.

    1. Yes that babysitting thing is so insulting to men! Every father I know is very hands-on and does much more than just babysit. It’s just one more term to minimise the importance of a father in the life of children, like they’re an optional extra and not something children need.
      Just because most fathers spend less time with their children because they are working, does not make their parenting contribution any less. They do not love their children any less, and given the chance, they are perfectly capable of caring for them. They might have a different way of dressing the children or whatever, but to call them a mere babysitter is wrong.

  2. My mother has been a homemaker since my older sister was born and she has always hated the phrase “quality time” and I hate hearing it too. It’s just another way working women justify neglecting their children. I agree that there is no such thing as quality time. The only way to guarantee your children grow up strong and not easily brainwashed by society is if the mother and father teach them how to spot and ignore the lies right away and with both parents working it’ll be too late, the school system will get to them first and no amount of quality time is enough to teach kids to unlearn it.

  3. Time goes so fast. I’ve always felt like I needed 2 years for every year that passed by. God gives us just enough time as the children grow up with none left over to sacrifice to work or extraneous things.

  4. If you do things the way God intented and you have a mother who stays at home with her children (and preferably homeschools them) and a father who goes to work and provides for his family, there is not much need for quality time. Also, you really can focus on the children and tend to all their needs, hence, you can have more of them. And it’s not like you’re going to have 15 children who are going to need a lot of attention from you all at the same time; older kids usually don’t need that much attention and they can help out a bit with their younger siblings as well.

    However, if a woman decides to prioritize her career… Yeah, I imagine it’s really hard to have multiple children, as well. So, when you say Bible doesn’t talk about quality time, it’s really logical when you think about it. If you do things the way the Bible says you should, there really is no need for “quality time” (or birth control).

  5. Agree 100%. Children need their parents to BE THERE, because quality time is a function of quantity time. You can’t force “quality time” to fit into a frenzied schedule.

  6. I found the mom of six’s comment to be particularly encouraging. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed with all God has called us to do, but we forget that He is faithful to help us in every situation. Also, our feelings are not always accurate. We can sometimes be harder on ourselves than we actually need to be. Just do what you need to in His strength, and all things will work together for good.

  7. If we are wives and mothers living a life of biblical womanhood, staying home where we belong raising our children, serving and obeying our husbands, then it’s ALL quality time!

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