DKL has an interesting post about work in which he disagrees with David O McKay’s famous quote “no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” The subsequent comments have made me think again about the concept of “quality time” and my feelings on the matter.
I think it’s a crock.
I don’t have kids, but I’ve been a kid and I’m pretty sure the oft-bandied term “quality time with the kids” is a load of crap. I imagine it was some businessman who came up with it to justify his late nights at the office. He probably sold products that emphasize “quality over quantity” and decided that because it makes sense with books, suits and cheese, it must also apply to time with his kids.
As cheesy as is the Church’s TV commercial slogan “Isn’t it about…time?”, it appears to be true. All time is quality time. You can’t say that time spent playing catch will be more important to the kid than time spent making him do chores. Just because he may enjoy playing catch more than being told to do chores it doesn’t mean that it is better for his relationship with his father.
I don’t know the answer to the working father (or working mother). Follow the Spirit I guess. But please don’t ever say, “I gotta get home to spend some quality time with my kids.” ever, ever again. They’re not a 10-year aged Carr Valley Cheddar, so don’t treat them like one (you know, by neglecting them for ten years and then eating them).