Quality time or quantity time with the family – is there such thing as quality time?
It is true that we save up, look forward to and invest a lot of emotions into planning for what we hope will be a fabulous holiday. The reality is, it is often the case that what we remember most from that wonderful holiday are small moments like when we got soaking wet or fell into the mud, or something so silly. For different people what they perceive as quality time is different from what others call quality time. What I do know is that it does not have to involve going on a very expensive holiday. From my own experience, I’ve seen families going on what is supposed to be a fantastic holiday and they end up spending 3 hours queuing up for a ride, and end up only going on three rides in a whole day. I would not call that kind of day a fantastic holiday myself, as the notion of staying in a long queue for even 45 minutes just to go on a ride that lasts for 45 seconds is not my idea of a good time. After all, there are only 86,400 seconds in a day and believe it or not, there are less than 32 million seconds in a whole year!
For some people, just hanging around and not doing very much but watching TV or just baking cakes, eating and drinking is their idea of quality time. Really, quality time means different things to different people.
Social media – has it taken all the boredom away or is it an evil to watch with a hawk eye?
For anyone who has been reading my blogs, you will know that I do not have a very positive opinion of social media at all. In fact, I treat all electronic media with care – a bit like a radioactive substance that you need but you have to handle at arm’s length! To digress for a moment, when I used to teach Physics to teenagers, one of the questions I often got asked was if radiation is a good or bad thing – a question for which the answer is not yes or no. I had to explain to them how we use radiation to see things, to communicate and to kill cancerous cells in the body. I had to explain that every type of radiation is useful – you’ve just got to control the way you use it.
For my personal use at work and my domestic use at home, I have about three smart phones and two tablets, including iPads. In addition to this, we have about three or four tablets at home. My first connection to the Internet was in 1995 and I had my first Motorola flip phone in 1987, which cost me several hundred pounds at the time – close to £1,000 in fact. Another statistic that may interest you is that despite all the electronic gadgetry, I only switch on my telephone to receive calls when I have an incoming call scheduled. I do not have a personal Twitter account and I can count on my fingers the number of times that I have visited Facebook in my life. If you spend some time next to me, you’ll hear my phone going off every hour or so but it is not incoming calls or text messages. It’s my alarm – informing me of the next task or appointment.
Tears in the eyes – that’s what having children does to people and it’s not all negative!
I was listening to a Radio 4 panel chaired by Mariella Frostrup last week and they were speaking about the challenge parents face over the long summer break. Most of the speakers on the panel now have grown-up children and they were speaking about school holidays and so on. If you listen to the start of the conversation, it is a little scary in terms of the tasks parents face over the school holiday and how on earth you’ll cope. However, by the end of the programme, it reinforced my long-held view that the time we spend with our offspring when they are still children is really not that long and it needn’t be so stressful. It is very important for us to make the very best of that time. They grow so quickly and soon turn into adults and move on to do their own thing. As a parent, you ought to do all you can to make the very best of their childhood – before they grow wings and fly away from the nest!
A very informative programme on Radio 4 (The challenge of the long summer holiday): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07lh8cm#play