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What is Quality Time?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 16, 2024
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The bulk of a person's day may feel routine or scripted, going from sleep to morning rituals to a long workday and finally back home for a few hours of free time before starting all over again. Over time, this routine can evolve into a rut and further erode the amount of quality time spent with loved ones. In this sense, the term could be defined as time dedicated exclusively to building a stronger relationship with family members or friends. The linear amount of time spent together is not as important as the amount of personal attention focused on loved ones.

What actually defines quality time can vary from family to family. For some, planning a weekend trip to a popular entertainment or cultural destination can be included. Families can pair off and enjoy a day at an amusement park, or spend a few hours at a zoo or museum. The point of the exercise would be to spend that time learning how to relate with other family members and sharing a mutual experience. While driving to a shopping mall may sound like an opportunity to spend time together, family members will often scatter in separate directions once they get there. Planning a trip to a destination where unity is encouraged is one way to share the experience with loved ones.

Others may see routine household activities as opportunities for quality time. Preparing a family dinner may be one way for busy family members to spend a little time together before or after other outside obligations. The idea is to encourage all family members to talk about their school or work experiences, or discuss their concerns and needs. Family activities don't always have to be scheduled, however, and parents could decide to hire a babysitter and enjoy a spontaneous date night. Siblings could attend each other's sporting events or other performances.

Quality time can also apply to personal hobbies and other individual pursuits as well. A person's overall view of the world can be improved significantly by getting away from work and family obligations. The sense of accomplishment after finishing a personal project or reaching a personal goal can be very satisfying. Time spent in spiritual reflection or personal thought can also renew a person's energy and interest in the loved ones around him or her. Dedicating time to loved ones or even yourself is considered to be one of the best expressions of what relationship experts call "love languages," those gestures and expressions which help strengthen the bonds between loved ones.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By sneakers41 — On Jul 18, 2010

Moldova- I heard that the American Girl store is really fun for little girls. But I agree with you that the quality time could be a simple ritual also.

For example, I usually do a bedtime story with my kids at night before they go to bed. I always read them their favorite stories and I feel that we have the best quality time because the focus is on them and the moment is uninterrupted.

By Moldova — On Jul 18, 2010

I agree that some of the best quality time is when you are on vacation. When you are on vacation you don’t have to worry about work and can devote more time to your loved ones.

One of my favorite quality time experiences involved when I took my daughter to New York and did the complete American Girl experience.

We got to the store and she bought a couple of dolls and then went through all of the various experiences throughout the store.

For example, she made an appointment to have her dolls’ hair styled and even got the doll new earrings.

She was also able to take a picture for a keepsake American Girl magazine cover and we topped the day off with a lunch dedicated to her at the American Girl restaurant.

My daughter and I spent the best afternoon together. We talked and laughed.

Although this was extravagant, quality time can also watching a favorite movie or reading a book together. The important thing is to spend time together and make each other feel important.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
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