Juggling responsibilities as a public figure and mother, Kareena Kapoor Khan has discovered the best way to spend time with her son Taimur. In a recent interview with film critic Anupama Chopra, the doting mother spoke about why it is important to just spend quality time with your child without necessarily engaging in any specific activity.
Talking about how the actress likes to spend time with Taimur, she said, “What a child really wants is love and nurturing. And that 30 minutes of quality, undisturbed time in today’s day and age, without your phone, without your friends, without your work, without anything; even that amount of time is enough to just look into his eyes and make him know I love him (Taimur). That’s what I think is the most precious time for me.”
Kareena added, “No amount of taking him to playschool or carrying him around or travelling the world; I don’t think that matters at all. I think it’s just that when I shut the door and tell everyone that I don’t want to see them for that hour–it could be Saif included–that is the way I want to bring up my son.”
Like Kareena, there are many such parents, especially in cities, who are only able to squeeze out limited time to spend with their children. Most of them, however, spend it by engaging in some activity with their child, be it playing games, reading books or visiting a place. “My son usually likes to sing with me. So, we make music videos on mobile apps. That’s what love doing together the most,” said Mrityunjay Kumar, father to a three-year-old boy.
With the focus majorly on “doing something”, parents and children tend to miss out on some non-activity time, which is much more pleasurable and an essential part of parenting.
Dr Debmita Dutta, parenting consultant and founder of What Parents Ask, told Express Parenting, “It is very important to just spend time with your child without particularly doing anything. In the process of engaging in activities, you are mostly trying to achieve something. We are ourselves running after targets and in many ways, we turn children into one of our goals too, but parenting isn’t done that way. It is about connecting heart to heart and mind to mind; it is about being there more than doing. In an adult-directed activity, you are invariably giving instructions, building the pressure of doing something meaningful. It is more important to just connect with your child than setting up some agenda.”
Dutta, who has a 12-year-old daughter, makes sure she spends some time “not doing” any activity with her. “In fact, I have trained my daughter to remove the laptop from my lap and the just lying down with me, cuddle up and do nothing. Some times, we just go for a walk, not with the purpose of exercising but just to be with each other. Even on rushed mornings, we spend at least five minutes just lying there and doing nothing,” she concluded.