Quantity vs quality time, the age-old question of dads everywhere. Which is more important? Let’s talk about it.
Question: Have you had quantity time with your child today?
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” —Deuteronomy 6:6-7
How to invest time in your child [Video 2:50]
The above strategy is from The Connected Father digital course—full of videos, podcasts, eBooks, tip sheets and bonus resources to help you be the dad who leads with no regrets. Snag the full course at The Connected Father.
Quantity vs quality time
If you’ve never read the book Point Man by Steve Farrar, I highly recommend it. It’s a powerful book for husbands and fathers. In the book, he addressed the “lie” of “quality time”. It was a myth born that said we can manufacture “high quality” time if we just try hard enough.
Farrar challenged that conclusion, saying, what we need more of is quantity time. And, within that quantity time – we accidentally find “quality time”. He said, “You never know when quality time is going to show up!”
He added, “Quality time is when your son asks you a serious question completely out of left field as you are trimming the bushes together. Quality time is when you’re putting your daughter to bed at night, and she asks you to tell her a story about when you were a kid. And she will remember that story for the rest of her life.”
I realize that we have limited time. I also know that you might be reading this and you don’t have custody of your kids – you only see them every so often.
While there are definitely pressures on our time, most of us can’t claim that we don’t spend time with our kids because of serious life issues. And, working long hours to get that next promotion doesn’t qualify as a “serious life issue!”
Time is not interchangeable
I want to encourage you to aggressively carve out quantity time with your kids. Whether that’s on the ride to school, running to the store to get milk, or even taking them on a business trip.
I once took my son on a road trip to St. Louis – it’s about 4 hours from Louisville. And, while nothing earth-shattering happened on that trip, my son still remembers it many years later. Down to the appetizers we had at the great restaurant we stumbled upon, he can recall vivid details about the experience.
Communication follows relationship, and relationships are built on shared passions, time invested, experiences and in knowing each other’s hearts.
If you want to be a Connected Father, invest quantity time with your kids while they’re young to create opportunities for “quality” time.