Letters to the Editor

Donna Carlson Yerby: 20 minutes a day? Include children instead

As an educator and clinician but especially as a parent, I was taken aback by the Dec. 16 Life, etc., article “ Hey, Dad! Got 20 minutes?” suggesting the value of 20 minutes a day spent with one’s children.

While it is no doubt the case that many parents struggle to find “quality” time with their children, Jonathan DeVore elaborated on the challenge, as well as the need for him to set aside his phone, etc., to allow his children to have his attention. Has he not considered including them in all the tasks and events that are part of being a family: preparing and eating a meal (with 20 minutes of shared conversation!); taking care of chores, pets; running errands; and learning something new together? How about the morning routines of getting up and ready for the day?

Perhaps DeVore’s wife is the primary care-giver, as I find it sad that his 3-year-old daughter wouldn’t let him hold, play or talk with her. Apparently 20 minutes a day has made a difference. Imagine the relationship he would have with his children if time spent together was a natural expectation they anticipated and valued without having to set a timer?

Donna Carlson Yerby