Let's unpack what it looks like to give and express the love language of quality time. And given we are all spending a lot more time together as family in our homes, at present– what a great opportunity to engage with each other in this way.
In their book The Five Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell suggest that people – children and adults – express their love and receive expressions of love from others in five distinct ways: through words, gifts, service, time and touch.
Quality time is a parent’s (or grandparents) gift to a child, saying, ‘You are important. I like being with you.’ The most important factor in quality time is not so much what you do but your focused attention.
Paul Tournier, often considered (one of) the twentieth century’s most famous Christian physicians, wrote;
‘To love is to give one’s time. We never give the impression that we care when we hurry’.
Spending time with our children and with our families will help them to feel loved, secure, and safe, and creates many memories that will last a lifetime.
What will be the gift your family remembers after this season?
IDEAS FOR QUALITY FAMILY TIME
Your family might have to do some things differently due to physical distancing, but there are still many things you can do together. Here are some fun ways you can spend time together and build your relationships:
- Encourage your child to draw a picture for someone, then take a photo and send it to family or friends.
- Play family games together – you could try board games, 20 questions or charades When was the last time you played hide and seek as a family? Go on!
- Have a picnic in the garden or living room, or just lie on a rug outside together and watch the clouds
- Start a chapter book, and read one chapter each day. Or tell a story together – you can take turns to add the next instalment.
- Turn on some music and have an indoor singing, lip sync or dance party.
- Follow along to some YouTube exercise videos.
- Make and edit a short video together.
- Take a virtual tour of a gallery or historic place together.
- Go for a walk or bike ride together - remember your responsible distance from other people.
- Continue to establish one-on-one time with each child. This will deepen your relationship immensely and also provide an opportunity to share your faith. Mark a date in your calendar for this ‘date’ when you will have a milkshake or go for a walk together. Don’t forget the ‘Talk Time’ cards that we’ve also written to help you have meaningful conversations with your families.