Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Here we go again with "quality time"

“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” said co-author Kei Nomaguchi, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University.
I'm sure it is stressful but motherhood has been stressful throughout human history and it must have been much more stressful in the past and yet women managed.

This is from a Washington Post article about a recent study that purports to demonstrate that quality time is more significant than quantity of time parents spend with their children.  Right up front, I will say that I suspect that the point about quantity not being as important as was assumed is right.
“I could literally show you 20 charts, and 19 of them would show no relationship between the amount of parents’ time and children’s outcomes. . . . Nada. Zippo,” said Melissa Milkie, a sociologist at the University of Toronto and one of the report’s authors.
But let me ask the rude question: Is it the quality of the time that matters? Or is it the quality of the parent spending that time?

Pay attention to what is going on when you're with children and you'll quickly realize that they are much better at learning than you are at teaching. They will often be learning things that you wish they weren't—how to manipulate their parents, how to get out of chores, how to score points against other kids—but learn they will do. As a parent, you are under your child's scrutiny every single moment. They make moral assessments about how to behave based on what they see from you. Yes, reading to a child is a good thing to do but a child also learns from you when they see you reading for yourself—they learn that this is a valued activity. If you read aloud to them a few minutes every night but watch TV every free moment, that too teaches a lesson.

Children often worry about growing up to be like their mothers. Mothers don't worry nearly enough at the thought that their kids will grow up to be just like them.

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