What Do We Mean by Three Kinds Of Time?

Many times, the cause of problems and conflicts in families is an imbalance in the way that parents and children spend time.

In P.E.T., we talk about three different kinds of time:

1) Activity Time; 2) One-to-One Time; and 3) Alone Time.

Striking a balance between them is essential to building and maintaining good relationships.

Activity Time: These are the times when your family is doing something together that’s enjoyable to all of you. This could be going out to dinner together, playing a game, going on a vacation, having a discussion – a variety of activities that you can do together. Sitting together while everyone is using their cell phone would not be an example of Activity Time because your focus would be on texting or googling, not on relating to your family members.

One-to-One Time: This is quality time that you spend with one other person – your child, spouse, friend or another person you like to be with. Examples of One-to-One Time are going on a walk together, having coffee or lunch, going to a sporting event, having a chat or deep conversation – activities that you both enjoy doing together. Again, when either or both of you are constantly checking your phone or texting, you are not having quality One-to-One Time.

Alone Time: Time alone is essential as a way of rejuvenating and revitalizing yourself. This is especially important for people who work long hours and spend a lot of that time relating to co-workers, customers and others. Alone time gives you a chance to relax and unwind without talking to or being with other people. Examples of Alone Time could be reading a book, watching a movie, meditating, playing a video game, taking a walk by yourself – activities that you feel refreshed by and enjoy.

Everyone needs to have all three kinds of time. The important thing is to have a balance between them.

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