Some people say it doesn’t matter how little time you spend with your children, as long as it’s quality time. But the logic of that concept seems suspect. Why do we have to choose between the virtues of quantity versus quality? We don’t accept that forced choice in any other area of our lives, so why is it only relevant to our children?
We could illustrate it this way. Suppose you’ve looked forward all day to eating at one of the finest restaurants in town. The waiter brings you a menu, and you order the most expensive steak in the house. But when the meal arrives, you see a tiny piece of meat about the size of a 50c piece in the centre of the plate. When you complain about the size, the waiter says, ‘I recognise that the portion is small, but it is the finest grain-fed beef money can buy. You will never find a better bite of steak than what we have served you tonight. As to the portion, I hope you understand that it’s not the quantity that matters; it’s the quality.’
You would object, and for good reason. Why? Because both quantity and quality are important in many areas of our lives, including how we relate to our children. They need our time, and the best we have to give them. The truth is, the ‘quantity versus quality’ argument might be a poorly disguised rationalisation for giving our children neither. The Bible says, ‘Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.’ So when it comes to giving them time and attention, they deserve the best in both quantity and quality.