NYT: The Myth of Quality Time

832 - Quantity Time

Excellent NYT article about the value of quantity time over so-called “quality time.”

There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.

We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke and venerate “quality time,” a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour.

Frank Bruni is right. There is no substitute for being there, and there is no way to schedule the most important moments of your life. They just happen or, if you’re not there, they just do not.

It’s an especially apt piece, of course, as my kids head back to school for the first day of the new academic year.

1 thought on “NYT: The Myth of Quality Time”

  1. This topic came up in Elder’s Quorum this week. Some of the elders were making moves towards justifying “quality over quantity” because they spend a lot of time at work (knowing some of them, it’s more like “work, video games, and watching sports”). I made the point “for your kids, quantity is quality.” That seemed to become the class consensus, thank heavens.

    It’s especially poignant to me, since due to a divorce, I only have my kids from the first marriage for two weekends a month (and various holidays). When I have them, I have to give them all the quantity I can when I do have them.

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