Daily quarantine thought: How much quality time do our kids really need?

Waking up to a whole day without any outings or childcare can be pretty daunting. Especially since we’re going on week 8 — or is it 8,938? — over here. As much as I love my kids, there is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to spending time with them. The longer we’re together without any breaks, the harder it is to enjoy them.

So I was reminded of a quote from Julie Morgenstern’s Time to Parent. Julie’s a professional organizer who helps parents make time for the essential tasks of parenting, and she lets parents off the hook for providing nonstop quality time while we’re at home — because oof. Instead, break it up into small, focused moments throughout the day.

 Here what she says:

A little focused time goes a long way with kids. Many experts say that the attention span of a child is about one minute for each year of their life. In other words, a one-year-old child can focus for about one minute, a five-year-old for five, and a fifteen-year-old for about fifteen minutes . . . Five to fifteen minutes of undivided attention can transform your and your child’s lives.

5 minutes? Even I can manage that. And the rest of the time I can multitask, because let’s face it, that last season of Marrying Millions isn’t going to binge itself. 

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