Instead of spending time with their children for a few hours each day, parents often substitute a few, fleeting moments of so-called "quality time," which Rabbi Shmuley says does not amount to good parenting. "If you don't put in the time to be a parent, then you're not a parent—period," he says. He talks about the myth of "quality time" and why parents need to instead focus on "quantity time" with their children.
According to Rabbi Shmuley, children do not benefit from, nor do they desire to spend "quality time" with their parents, which he says averages around 5.5 minutes per day in the United States, according to some studies. "'Quality time' was an idea invented by harried and overworked parents to mitigate the phenomenal guilt they felt in neglecting their children," he says.
Rabbi Shmuley says children who are neglected by their parents—despite their parents' best intentions—grow up to feel insignificant, insecure, unloved and—more than anything else—angry. To make children feel important, loved and safe, parents should be physically and emotionally available to their children for a few hours every day, which he calls "quantity time."
Fancy clothes, piles of toys and expensive gifts cannot make up for a lack of "quantity time," Rabbi Shmuley says. "Our children don't need more money and more things—they need us," he says. "Let us obliterate the myth of 'quality time.'"
"'Quality time' is nothing but a poor excuse used by parents who cannot give their children the great gift of 'quantity time.'"