It has often been said that quality trumps quantity in many walks of life and a new study about quality parenting confirms this concept, according to a March 30, 2015 article published by Today.com.
The study, headed by Melissa Milkie from the University of Toronto, Kathellen Denny from the University of Maryland, and Kei Nomaguchi from Bowling Green University, shows that the actual amount of time parents spend with children between the ages of 3 and 11 has little correlation to the child’s success as adults. This runs contrary to the belief felt by many parents that they must spend a set amount of time with their children each day to help them develop into successful adults.
The study also reported that child success is more strongly correlated with family income and a mother’s education level. The higher the mother’s education, the more likely she will be to encourage education in her children, both directly and indirectly. And the greater the family income, the more doors that will be open to achieve success.
Another common fallacy dispelled by this study is the need for time spent specifically with mom. What the study showed is that quality time spent with both parents is best. It could be a family moment at the dinner table or a family gathering during the holidays. The study found that families who spend more time with children during these moments end up with kids who are more focused and less likely to get into trouble.
This study’s conclusion that quantity of time is not as important as previously thought has to be great relief for busy parents. Many moms and dads feel guilty about the excessive time spent at the office and the few hours of time spent with kids after a busy workday. But as the study shows, a small amount of quality time is better than a large amount of passive togetherness. In other words, an hour spent actively working with a child on a project is more valuable than sitting on a couch for two hours while the kids watch television.
The study will be published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in April, 2015.